[Frontiers in Bioscience 13, 6106-6125, May 1, 2008]
Effects of static magnetic fields in biology: role of free radicals
International Innovation Center, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Biological systems can respond to a wide range of static magnetic fields (SMF). Some of these responses seem to be mediated partly through free radical reactions. For example, in magnetic sense and navigation using the geomagnetic field, one of the most promising mechanisms for explaining magnetic compass is "a radical pair mechanism". Biological free radicals are most commonly oxygen or nitrogen based with an unpaired electron, leading to the terms "reactive oxygen species (ROS)" or "reactive nitrogen species (RNS)". When applying SMF to medical treatment, coupling SMF exposure with possible chemotherapy of cancers is a novel fascinating area that SMF could enhance agent-induced ROS production against tumors. In addition, one of the potent mechanisms of SMF effects on hemodynamics and blood pressure has sometimes been linked to nitric oxide pathway. However, health and environmental concerns have been raised because the SMF effects on oxidative stress leading to genetic mutation and apoptosis/necrosis have been found. It seems to take place from free radical generation.