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Electromagnetic biology and medicine

The effects of prenatal exposure to a 900-MHz electromagnetic field on the 21-day-old male rat heart.


PMID 25166431

Abstract

The growing spread of mobile phone use is raising concerns about the effect on human health of the electromagnetic field (EMF) these devices emit. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects on rat pup heart tissue of prenatal exposure to a 900 megahertz (MHz) EMF. For this purpose, pregnant rats were divided into experimental and control groups. Experimental group rats were exposed to a 900 MHz EMF (1 h/d) on days 13-21 of pregnancy. Measurements were performed with rats inside the exposure box in order to determine the distribution of EMF intensity. Our measurements showed that pregnant experimental group rats were exposed to a mean electrical field intensity of 13.77 V/m inside the box (0.50 W/m(2)). This study continued with male rat pups obtained from both groups. Pups were sacrificed on postnatal day 21, and the heart tissues were extracted. Malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase and catalase values were significantly higher in the experimental group rats, while glutathione values were lower. Light microscopy revealed irregularities in heart muscle fibers and apoptotic changes in the experimental group. Electron microscopy revealed crista loss and swelling in the mitochondria, degeneration in myofibrils and structural impairments in Z bands. Our study results suggest that exposure to EMF in the prenatal period causes oxidative stress and histopathological changes in male rat pup heart tissue.