Richard A. Jaffe

Publication Details

  • STIMULATION OF CUTANEOUS MECHANORECEPTORS BY 60-HZ ELECTRIC-FIELDS BIOELECTROMAGNETICS Weigel, R. J., Jaffe, R. A., LUNDSTROM, D. L., FORSYTHE, W. C., Anderson, L. E. 1987; 8 (4): 337-350

    Abstract:

    Chronic exposure of animals to 60-Hz electric fields is known to affect the nervous system in a variety of subtle ways. The mechanism whereby these effects are produced remains unknown. One hypothesis is that the effects are a result of direct interaction between neuronal membranes and induced currents. Alternatively, the effects could be produced indirectly, as a result of sensory stimulation and the resulting low-level stress. To test these hypotheses, a system was developed to expose the surface of an anesthetized cat's paw to surface electric fields up to 600 kV/m while simultaneously measuring, in dorsal root fibers, afferent nerve impulses originating from various receptor types in the exposed paw. Of the 245 receptor units tested, comprising ten cutaneous receptor types, ten responded to the electric field with an increase in firing rate. The most sensitive receptor type was the rapidly adapting field receptor (RAF); eight of 20 (40%) were sensitive to the electric field, with thresholds as low as 160 kV/m. One of 35 rapidly adapting high-frequency receptors and one of 22 type T hair-follicle receptors were also sensitive to the electric field. Follow-up tests on the RAF receptors showed that hair removal reduced but did not eliminate the electric field sensitivity, suggesting that at least one other mechanism was involved in addition to stimulation via hair movement. The most likely mechanism is field-induced vibrations of the skin, since a further reduction in firing rate occurred following application of mineral oil to the depilated paw. Direct interaction with neuronal membranes is not supported by our evidence.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987L015600002

    View details for PubMedID 3426635

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