Electromagnetic field effects on male gametic cells
Smith, Jessica S.
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Alteration of cellular functions in magnetic fields is well documented. However, more recent data suggest that magnetism might be useful in detection of abnormal cell types due to their response to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF). The purpose of the following study was to determine if these observations in abnormal cells might be useful in semen selection and if sperm exposed to ELF-EMF in a gravity flow field would preferentially migrate toward the magnetic poles. Further, as earlier data from this and other laboratories have suggested detrimental effects of ELF-EMF on cellular physiology, we wanted to determine if momentary (< 2 hr) exposure of the cells to the limited ELF-EMF had any effects on routine semen parameters. Bull and boar sperm were exposed to an electromagnetic field of 6 mG in order to evaluate sperm migration and evaluate the possibility of separating semen based on sex, using ELF-EMF. Semen was deposited in a specialized plate in which two anti-parallel electromagnets were placed on the left and right side of the semen. Using a microscope, sperm was evaluated by cell concentration, motility, and forward progression on the right, middle, and left side of the plate at times 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, and 120 minutes of electromagnetic exposure. While the design of the chamber made absolute calculation of concentrations impossible, no stark differences were observed in cellular concentration at any time point. As expected, there was a significant decrease in boar motility and bull motility over time (P