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EMF Studies

30 July 2016

Controversies on Electromagnetic in Neurobiology of Organisms - 3

We are posting here recent studies on electromagnetic fields published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy.  Clicking on titles of the studies will take you to the abstract.

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Volume 75, Part B, Pages 41-140 (September 2016)

Ersan Odacıa, , , ,
Hatice Hancıa,
Ayşe İkincia,
Osman Fikret Sönmezb,
Ali Aslanc,
Arzu Şahinc,
Haydar Kayad,
Serdar Çolakoğlue,
Orhan Başf

• The female rat pup cerebellum was investigated following prenatal 900 MHz EMF exposure.
• Total Purkinje cell numbers were estimated following prenatal 900 MHz EMF exposure.
• Purkinje cell numbers were lower in the EMF group compared to the control and sham groups.
• Pyknotic neurons with dark cytoplasm were observed in the EMF group.


Large numbers of people are unknowingly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from wireless devices. Evidence exists for altered cerebellar development in association with prenatal exposure to EMF. However, insufficient information is still available regarding the effects of exposure to 900 megahertz (MHz) EMF during the prenatal period on subsequent postnatal cerebellar development. This study was planned to investigate the 32-day-old female rat pup cerebellum following exposure to 900 MHz EMF during the prenatal period using stereological and histopathological evaluation methods. Pregnant rats were divided into control, sham and EMF groups. Pregnant EMF group (PEMFG) rats were exposed to 900 MHz EMF for 1 h inside an EMF cage during days 13–21 of pregnancy. Pregnant sham group (PSG) rats were also placed inside the EMF cage during days 13–21 of pregnancy for 1 h, but were not exposed to any EMF. No procedure was performed on the pregnant control group (PCG) rats. Newborn control group (CG) rats were obtained from the PCG mothers, newborn sham group (SG) rats from the PSG and newborn EMF group (EMFG) rats from the PEMFG rats. The cerebellums of the newborn female rats were extracted on postnatal day 32. The number of Purkinje cells was estimated stereologically, and histopathological evaluations were also performed on cerebellar sections. Total Purkinje cell numbers calculated using stereological analysis were significantly lower in EMFG compared to CG (p < 0.05) and SG (p < 0.05). Additionally, some pathological changes such as pyknotic neurons with dark cytoplasm were observed in EMFG sections under light microscopy. In conclusion, our study results show that prenatal exposure to EMF affects the development of Purkinje cells in the female rat cerebellum and that the consequences of this pathological effect persist after the postnatal period.

Effects of cell phone radiation on lipid peroxidation, glutathione and nitric oxide levels in mouse brain during epileptic seizure

Meric Arda Esmekayaa, , ,
Mehmet Zahid Tuysuza,
Arın Tomruka,
Ayse G. Cansevena,
Engin Yücelb,
Zuhal Aktunac,
Semih Keskild,
Nesrin Seyhana


The objective of the this study was to evaluate the effects of cellular phone radiation on oxidative stress parameters and oxide levels in mouse brain during pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced epileptic seizure. Eight weeks old mice were used in the study. Animals were distributed in the following groups: Group I: Control group treated with PTZ, Group II: 15 min cellular phone radiation + PTZ treatment + 30 min cellular phone radiation, Group III: 30 min cellular phone radiation + PTZ treatment + 30 min cellular phone radiation. The RF radiation was produced by a 900 MHz cellular phone. Lipid peroxidation, which is the indicator of oxidative stress was quantified by measuring the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The glutathione (GSH) levels were determined by the Ellman method. Tissue total nitric oxide (NOx) levels were obtained using the Griess assay. Lipid peroxidation and NOx levels of brain tissue increased significantly in group II and III compared to group I. On the contrary, GSH levels were significantly lower in group II and III than group I. However, no statistically significant alterations in any of the endpoints were noted between group II and Group III. Overall, the experimental findings demonstrated that cellular phone radiation may increase the oxidative damage and NOx level during epileptic activity in mouse brain.

Does prolonged radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi devices induce DNA damage in various tissues of rats?

Mehmet Zulkuf Akdaga,
Suleyman Dasdagb, , ,
Fazile Canturkc,
Derya Karabulutd,
Yusuf Canerb,
Nur Adaliere


Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) providers have become essential in our daily lives, as wireless technology is evolving at a dizzying pace. Although there are different frequency generators, one of the most commonly used Wi-Fi devices are 2.4 GHz frequency generators. These devices are heavily used in all areas of life but the effect of radiofrequency (RF) radiation emission on users is generally ignored. Yet, an increasing share of the public expresses concern on this issue. Therefore, this study intends to respond to the growing public concern. The purpose of this study is to reveal whether long term exposure of 2.4 GHz frequency RF radiation will cause DNA damage of different tissues such as brain, kidney, liver, and skin tissue and testicular tissues of rats. The study was conducted on 16 adult male Wistar–Albino rats. The rats in the experimental group (n = 8) were exposed to 2.4 GHz frequency radiation for over a year. The rats in the sham control group (n = 8) were subjected to the same experimental conditions except the Wi-Fi generator was turned off. After the exposure period was complete the possible DNA damage on the rat’s brain, liver, kidney, skin, and testicular tissues was detected through the single cell gel electrophoresis assay (comet) method. The amount of DNA damage was measured as percentage tail DNA value. Based on the DNA damage results determined by the single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) method, it was found that the% tail DNA values of the brain, kidney, liver, and skin tissues of the rats in the experimental group increased more than those in the control group. The increase of the DNA damage in all tissues was not significant (p > 0.05). However the increase of the DNA damage in rat testes tissue was significant (p < 0.01).

In conclusion, long-term exposure to 2.4 GHz RF radiation (Wi-Fi) does not cause DNA damage of the organs investigated in this study except testes. The results of this study indicated that testes are more sensitive organ to RF radiation.

Effects of GSM modulated radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation on permeability of blood–brain barrier in male & female rats

Bahriye Sırava, b, , ,
Nesrin Seyhana, b

• Exposure to the pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation could lead to increase in the permeability of blood–brain barrier.
• New researches are needed to discuss the effects of radio-frequency radiation on children.
• Efforts have to be made to understand the mechanisms of the interaction of radio-frequency radiation and the central nervous system.


With the increased use of mobile phones, their biological and health effects have become more important. Usage of mobile phones near the head increases the possibility of effects on brain tissue. This study was designed to investigate the possible effects of pulse modulated 900 MHz and 1800 MHz radio-frequency radiation on the permeability of blood–brain barrier of rats. Study was performed with 6 groups of young adult male and female wistar albino rats. The permeability of blood-brain barrier to intravenously injected evans blue dye was quantitatively examined for both control and radio-frequency radiarion exposed groups. For male groups; Evans blue content in the whole brain was found to be 0.08 ± 0.01 mg% in the control, 0.13 ± 0.03 mg% in 900 MHz exposed and 0.26 ± 0.05 mg% in 1800 MHz exposed animals. In both male radio-frequency radiation exposed groups, the permeability of blood–brain barrier found to be increased with respect to the controls (p < 0.01). 1800 MHz pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation exposure was found more effective on the male animals (p < 0.01). For female groups; dye contents in the whole brains were 0.14 ± 0.01 mg% in the control, 0.24 ± 0.03 mg% in 900 MHz exposed and 0.14 ± 0.02 mg% in 1800 MHz exposed animals. No statistical variance found between the control and 1800 MHz exposed animals (p > 0.01). However 900 MHz pulse modulated radio-frequency exposure was found effective on the permeability of blood-brain barrier of female animals. Results have shown that 20 min pulse modulated radio-frequency radiation exposure of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz induces an effect and increases the permeability of blood-brain barrier of male rats. For females, 900 MHz was found effective and it could be concluded that this result may due to the physiological differences between female and male animals. The results of this study suggest that mobile phone radation could lead to increase the permeability of blood-brain barrier under non-thermal exposure levels. More studies are needed to demonstrate the mechanisms of that breakdown.

Neurodegenerative changes and apoptosis induced by intrauterine and extrauterine exposure of radiofrequency radiation

Göknur Gülera,
Elcin Ozgura, , ,
Hikmet Kelesb,
Arin Tomruka,
Sevil Atalay Vuralc,
Nesrin Seyhana

• Fetal exposure to mobile phone radiation causes apoptosis and oxidative damage in brain.


Adverse health effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) on the ongoing developmental stages of children from conception to childhood are scientifically anticipated subject. This study was performed to identify the effects of global system for mobile communications (GSM) modulated mobile phone like RFR in 1800 MHz frequency on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation beside the apoptotic cell formation, using histopathological and immunohistochemical methods in the brain tissue of 1-month-old male and female New Zealand White rabbits that were exposed to these fields at their mother's womb and after the birth. Oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation levels were investigated by measuring the 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, respectively. Histopathological changes were observed using by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. Apoptotic cells were detected in the examined organs by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining.

For both male and female infants; 8-OHdG levels increased in the group exposed to RFR in both intrauterine and extrauterine periods compared to the infants that were never exposed to RFR and the ones were exposed when they reached one month of age (p < 0.05). MDA results were different for male and female rabbits. There was no difference between all female infant groups (p > 0.05), while only intrauterine exposure significantly causes MDA level increase for the male infants. HE staining revealed mild lessions in neuronal necrobiosis in brain tissues of female rabbits that had only intaruterine exposure and male rabbits had only extrauterine exposure. Gliosis were mildly positive in brain tissues of rabbits that are exposed only intrauterine period, also the group exposed both intrauterine and extrauterine periods. However, there was no apoptotic change detected by TUNEL staining in the brain tissues of all groups.

Oxidative stress of brain and liver is increased by Wi-Fi (2.45 GHz) exposure of rats during pregnancy and the development of newborns

Ömer Çelika, b, , ,
Mehmet Cemal Kahyac,
Mustafa Nazıroğlua, b,

• Oxidative stress plays important role in biology of Wi-Fi (2.45 GHz)
• 2.45 GHz increased oxidative stress in brain and liver pregnant rats and their newborns.
• Brain seems sensitive to oxidative injury in the development of newborns.


An excessive production of reactive oxygen substances (ROS) and reduced antioxidant defence systems resulting from electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure may lead to oxidative brain and liver damage and degradation of membranes during pregnancy and development of rat pups. We aimed to investigate the effects of Wi-Fi-induced EMR on the brain and liver antioxidant redox systems in the rat during pregnancy and development.

Sixteen pregnant rats and their 48 newborns were equally divided into control and EMR groups. The EMR groups were exposed to 2.45 GHz EMR (1 h/day for 5 days/week) from pregnancy to 3 weeks of age. Brain cortex and liver samples were taken from the newborns between the first and third weeks. In the EMR groups, lipid peroxidation levels in the brain and liver were increased following EMR exposure; however, the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity, and vitamin A, vitamin E and β-carotene concentrations were decreased in the brain and liver. Glutathione (GSH) and vitamin C concentrations in the brain were also lower in the EMR groups than in the controls; however, their concentrations did not change in the liver.

In conclusion, Wi-Fi-induced oxidative stress in the brain and liver of developing rats was the result of reduced GSH-Px, GSH and antioxidant vitamin concentrations. Moreover, the brain seemed to be more sensitive to oxidative injury compared to the liver in the development of newborns.

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