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Electromagn Biol Med. 2013 Mar;32(1):95-120. doi: 10.3109/15368378.2012.709207. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Transient and cumulative memory impairments induced by GSM 1.8 GHz cell phone signal in a mouse model.

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Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, Athens University, Panepistimiopolis, Athens, Greece.


This study was designed to investigate the transient and cumulative impairments in spatial and non-spatial memory of C57Bl/6J mice exposed to GSM 1.8 GHz signal for 90 min daily by a typical cellular (mobile) phone at a specific absorption rate value of 0.11 W/kg. Free-moving male mice 2 months old were irradiated in two experimental protocols, lasting for 66 and for 148 days respectively. Each protocol used three groups of animals (n = 8 each for exposed, sham exposed and controls) in combination with two behavioural paradigms, the object recognition task and the object location task sequentially applied at different time points. One-way analysis of variance revealed statistically significant impairments of both types of memory gradually accumulating, with more pronounced effects on the spatial memory. The impairments persisted even 2 weeks after interruption of the 8 weeks daily exposure, whereas the memory of mice as detected by both tasks showed a full recovery approximately 1 month later. Intermittent every other day exposure for 1 month had no effect on both types of memory. The data suggest that visual information processing mechanisms in hippocampus, perirhinal and entorhinal cortex are gradually malfunctioning upon long-term daily exposure, a phenotype that persists for at least 2 weeks after interruption of radiation, returning to normal memory performance levels 4 weeks later. It is postulated that cellular repair mechanisms are operating to eliminate the memory affecting molecules. The overall contribution of several possible mechanisms to the observed cumulative and transient impairments in spatial and non-spatial memory is discussed.

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