Exposure to an Extremely-Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Stimulates Adrenal Steroidogenesis via Inhibition of Phosphodiesterase Activity in a Mouse Adrenal Cell Line
Kitaoka K, Kawata S, Yoshida T, Kadoriku F, Kitamura M. Exposure to an Extremely-Low-Frequency Magnetic Field Stimulates Adrenal Steroidogenesis via Inhibition of Phosphodiesterase Activity in a Mouse Adrenal Cell Line. PLoS One. 2016 Apr 21;11(4):e0154167. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154167. eCollection 2016.
Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) are generated by power lines and household electrical devices. In the last several decades, some evidence has shown an association between ELF-MF exposure and depression and/or anxiety in epidemiological and animal studies. The mechanism underlying ELF-MF-induced depression is considered to involve adrenal steroidogenesis, which is triggered by ELF-MF exposure. However, how ELF-MFs stimulate adrenal steroidogenesis is controversial. In the current study, we investigated the effect of ELF-MF exposure on the mouse adrenal cortex-derived Y-1 cell line and the human adrenal cortex-derived H295R cell line to clarify whether the ELF-MF stimulates adrenal steroidogenesis directly. ELF-MF exposure was found to significantly stimulate adrenal steroidogenesis (p < 0.01-0.05) and the expression of adrenal steroid synthetic enzymes (p < 0.05) in Y-1 cells, but the effect was weak in H295R cells. Y-1 cells exposed to an ELF-MF showed significant decreases in phosphodiesterase activity (p < 0.05) and intracellular Ca2+ concentration (p < 0.01) and significant increases in intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) concentration (p < 0.001-0.05) and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation (p < 0.05). The increase in cAMP was not inhibited by treatment with NF449, an inhibitor of the Gs alpha subunit of G protein. Our results suggest that ELF-MF exposure stimulates adrenal steroidogenesis via an increase in intracellular cAMP caused by the inhibition of phosphodiesterase activity in Y-1 cells. The same mechanism may trigger the increase in adrenal steroid secretion in mice observed in our previous study.