Forschungsgemeinschaft Funk e.V.

Edition Wissenschaft

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Edition No. 15/E April 2002

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med Florian Stögbauer
University of Münster/ Germany

To date a number of in vivo investigations on effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on the function of the blood brain barrier (BBB) have been carried out , but they didn't reveal consistent results. The reasons for the lacking reproducibility lies in the nature of the chosen experimental in vivo approaches itself. Here the control of identical experimental boundary conditions cannot be guaranteed for different laboratories. In nearly all fields of biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology this difficulty let scientists dissociate from in vivo models and replace them by adequate in vitro models to investigate certain correlations in more detail. By the use of such in vitro models experiments on basic molecular mechanisms can be done on very good reproducible general conditions, also in different laboratories. The cell culture systems used in this context are established in literature since many years and offer the unique opportunity to get closer to the cellular, biochemical, and molecular biological mechanisms of observed effects and to describe these with more exactness. But primarily these experiments on cell culture systems serve for describing general biological mechanisms. To make estimations on possible health risks, then specifically targeted in vivo experiments have to follow.

Consequently, it seems to be thinkable and probable that investigations with in vitro models on the effects of EMF on the BBB function finally will lead to reproducible and thus commonly accepted results. Moreover, in case of reproducible evidence for a functional loss of the BBB after field exposure to EMF, it will be possible to get closer to the responsible underlying molecular mechanisms. This would be exceptionally interesting for basic research in biology.

It is demonstrated that the BBB is a tried and tested physiological system, suited to investigate the possible effects of EMF on functional systems of the central nerve system.

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