Giorgi, G., Del Re, B. Epigenetic dysregulation in various types of cells exposed to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields. Cell Tissue Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-021-03489-6
Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression, without changing the DNA sequence, and establish cell-type-specific temporal and spatial expression patterns. Alterations of epigenetic marks have been observed in several pathological conditions, including cancer and neurological disorders. Emerging evidence indicates that a variety of environmental factors may cause epigenetic alterations and eventually influence disease risks. Humans are increasingly exposed to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs), which in 2002 were classified as possible carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the link between the exposure to ELF-MFs and epigenetic alterations in various cell types. In spite of the limited number of publications, available evidence indicates that ELF-MF exposure can be associated with epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, modifications of histones and microRNA expression. Further research is needed to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed phenomena.