Real-time Measurement of Cytosolic Free Calcium Concentration in Jurkat Cells during ELF Magnetic Field Exposure and Evaluation of the Role of Cell Cycle

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Extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) have been reported to alter a number of cell signaling pathways, including those involved in proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis where cytosolic free calcium ([Ca(2+)](c)) plays an important role. To better understand the biological conditions under which ELF MF exposure might alter [Ca(2+)](c), we measured [Ca(2+)](c) by ratiometric fluorescence spectrophotometry during exposure to ELF MF in Jurkat E6.1 cells synchronized to different phases of the cell cycle. Suspensions of cells were exposed either to a near zero MF (Null) or a 60 Hz, 100 microT sinusoidal MF superimposed upon a collinear 78.1 microT static MF (AC + DC). An initial series of experiments indicated that the maximum increase in [Ca(2+)](c) above baseline after stimulation with anti-CD3 was significantly higher in samples exposed to AC + DC (n = 30) compared to Null (n = 30) with the largest difference in G2-M enriched samples. However, in a second study with G2-M enriched cells, samples treated with AC + DC (n = 17) were not statistically different from Null-treated samples (n = 27). Detailed analysis revealed that the dynamics in [Ca(2+)](c) before and after stimulation with anti-CD3 were dissimilar between Null samples from each study. From the results, we concluded (i) that the ELF MF increased [Ca(2+)](c) during an antibody-induced signaling event, (ii) that the ELF MF effect did not depend to a large degree on cell cycle, and (iii) that a field-related change in [Ca(2+)](c) signaling appeared to correlate with features in the [Ca(2+)](c) dynamics. Future work could evaluate [Ca(2+)](c) dynamics in relation to the phase of the cell cycle and inter-study variation, which may reveal factors important for the observation of real-time effects of ELF MF on [Ca(2+)](c).