Extremely‐low‐frequency (ELF), low‐intensity magnetic fields have been shown to influence cell signaling processes in a variety of systems, both in vivo and in vitro. Similar effects have been demonstrated for nervous system development and neurite outgrowth. We report that regeneration in planaria, which incorporates many of these processes, is also affected by ELF magnetic fields. The rate of cephalic regeneration, reflected by the mean regeneration time (MRT), for planaria populations regenerating under continuous exposure to combined DC (78.4 μT) and AC (60.0 Hz at 10.0 μT peak) magnetic fields applied in parallel was found to be significantly delayed (P ≪ 0.001) by 48 ± 1 h relative to two different types of control populations (MRT ˜ 140 ± 12 h). One control population was exposed to only the AC component of this field combination, while the other experienced only the ambient geomagnetic field. All measurements were conducted in a low‐gradient, low‐noise magnetics laboratory under well‐maintained temperature conditions. This delay in regeneration was shown to be dependent on the planaria having a fixed orientation with respect to the magnetic field vectors. Results also indicate that this orientation‐dependent transduction process does not result from Faraday induction but is consistent with a Ca2+ cyclotron resonance mechanism. Data interpretation also permits the tentative conclusion that the effect results from an inhibition of events at an early stage in the regeneration process before the onset of proliferation and differentiation. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- extremely low frequency (ELF)
- ion cyclotron resonance
- magnetic field
- planarian regeneration