Magnetic fields (MF) can influence biological systems in a wide range of animal species and humans. We report here on the influence of static MF, locally applied to the brain area, on immune system performances in the rat. In the first series of experiments two AKMA micromagnets (M) with the influx density of 600 Gauss were bilaterally implanted (with N" polarity facing the cranial bones) and fixed to the skull posterior to the fronto-parietal suture (parietal brain exposure). Rats implanted with iron beads (I) and sham-operated (SO) rats served as controls. Animals were exposed to MF or I during different periods of time before and after immunization with several soluble or cellular antigens. We report here on the in vivo immunoregulating effects of centrally applied MF on plaque-forming cell (PFC) response, local hypersensitivity skin reactions and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. The selective influence of MF applied to different brain regions on PFC response was evaluated, as well. For this purpose, two M were bilaterally implanted in the area of (a) frontal, (b) parietal and (c) occipital brain regions. Rats were under the influence of MF for 20 days before and 4 days after immunization with sheep red blood cells. Groups of nonimmunized rats were exposed for 14, 24 and 34 days to parietally implanted M or I, and the number of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ cells determined by mouse anti-rat W3/25 and MRC OX 8 monoclonal antibodies. The results show an overall in vivo immunopotentiation of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in rats exposed to MF. Furthermore, these immunomodulating effects of centrally applied MF depend on at least two basic parameters, time of exposure and brain region exposed. The highest immune performance was obtained after exposure of the occipital brain region for a total period of 24 days. The results provide further evidence of the complex interrelationship between the environment, the central nervous system and the immune system.
- Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
- Magnetic fields
- Pineal gland
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