Mark Bouwens


Mark Bouwens

Post Doc

E-mail: Mark Bouwens


Modulation of Immune Response through Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field (LF EMF) exposure

Previous in vitro and in vivo studies with animals provide evidence that properly selected electromagnetic fields (EMF) have protective effects against infections by activating the immune system. These experiments have shown increased immune cells activity, reduced mortality, reduced pathology and improved feed to growth conversion. A remarkable finding is that such effects can be obtained at very low field strengths: from 50 μT down to at least 1 μT, while most experiments were done at 5 μT. A hypothesis has been developed for the working mechanism: EMF causes moderate stress at cell level, the cells produces danger signals, subsequently immune cells react stronger and faster to pathogens and finally a stronger self sustained immune response is generated substantially earlier resulting in early elimination of pathogens. Consequently, pathogens have less opportunity to cause damage.

The goal of the current project is to explore hazards and benefits in humans, related to immune system activity, of low frequency (LF) EMF exposure. In order to achieve this goal experiments will be performed with human and murine cells, long term studies with mice; and the project will finish with human studies. We will investigate cytokine and ROS production in vitro and lymphocyte proliferation in vivo with different exposure parameters. Finally, we will perform human studies and investigate the effect of LF EMF on infection incidence and prevalence. Results of this project will yield insight into effects of LF EMF exposure on the immune system that may help understand and even predict health effects of such exposure. Studies will be performed within an international collaborative setting.