Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic field-induced regeneration anomalies in the planarian Dugesia tigrina

K. A. Jenrow, C. H. Smith, A. R. Liboff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We recently reported that cephalic regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina was significantly delayed in populations exposed continuously to combined parallel DC and AC magnetic fields. This effect was consistent with hypotheses suggesting an underlying resonance phenomenon. We report here, in a parallel series of investigations on the same model system, that the incidence of regeneration anomalies presenting as tumor-like protuberances also increases significantly (P < .001) in association with exposure to weak 60 Hz magnetic fields, with peak intensities ranging between 1.0 and 80.0 μT. These anomalies often culminate in the complete disaggregation of the organism. Similar to regeneration rate effects, the incidence of regeneration anomalies is specifically dependent upon the planaria possessing a fixed orientation with respect to the applied magnetic field vectors. However, unlike the regeneration rate effects, the AC magnetic field alone, in the absence of any measurable DC field, is capable of producing these anomalies. Moreover, the incidence of regeneration anomalies follows a clear dose-response relationship as a function of AC magnetic field intensity, with the threshold for induced electric field intensity estimated at 5 μV/m. The addition of either 51.1 or 78.4 μT DC magnetic fields, applied in parallel combination with the AC field, enhances the appearance of anomalies relative to the 60 Hz AC field alone, but only at certain AC field intensities. Thus, whereas our previous study of regeneration rate effects appeared to involve exclusively resonance interactions, the regeneration anomalies reported here appear to result primarily from Faraday induction coupling. These results together with those reported previously point to two distinct physiological effects produced in regenerating planaria by exposure to weak extremely-low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields. They further suggest that the planarian, which has recently been identified elsewhere as an excellent system for use in teratogenic investigations involving chemical teratogens, might be used similarly in teratogenic investigations involving ELF magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996


  • Cyclotron resonance
  • Extremely low frequency
  • Faraday induction
  • Planarian regeneration
  • Teratogenesis


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