• high magnetic flux density;
  • magnetic field gradient;
  • INS-1 cells;
  • MRI


The magnetic flux density of MRI for clinical diagnosis has been steadily increasing. However, there remains very little biological data regarding the effect of strong static magnetic fields (SMFs) on human health. To evaluate the effects of strong SMFs on biological systems, we cultured insulin-secreting cells under exposure to sham and SMF conditions (3–10 T of magnetic flux density, and 0–41.7 T/m of magnetic field gradient) for 0.5 or 1 h, and analyzed insulin secretion, mRNA expression, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, insulin content, cell proliferation and cell number. Exposure to SMF with a high magnetic field gradient for 1 h significantly increased insulin secretion and insulin 1 mRNA expression. Exposure to SMF with a high magnetic flux density for 0.5 h significantly enhanced responsiveness to glucose stimulation. Exposure to SMF did not affect the insulin content, cell proliferation or cell number. Our results suggested that MRI systems with a higher magnetic flux density might not cause cell proliferative or functional damages on insulin-secreting cells, and that SMF with a high magnetic field gradient might be used clinically after thorough in vivo investigations are conducted. Bioelectromagnetics 30:1–8, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.