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Int J Radiat Biol. 2016 Oct;92(10):590-5. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2016.1206223. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Neuroprotective effects of melatonin and omega-3 on hippocampal cells prenatally exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields.

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a Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine , Adnan Menderes University , Aydın , Turkey ;
b Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine , Ondokuz Mayıs University , Samsun , Turkey ;
c Department of Physics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences , Ondokuz Mayıs University , Samsun , Turkey.



Adverse effects on human health caused by electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with the use of mobile phones, particularly among young people, are increasing all the time. The potential deleterious effects of EMF exposure resulting from mobile phones being used in close proximity to the brain require particular evaluation. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to EMF in the development of the pyramidal cells using melatonin (MEL) and omega-3 (ω-3).


We established seven groups of pregnant rats consisting of three animals each; control (CONT), SHAM, EMF, EMF + MEL, MEL, EMF + ω-3 and ω-3 alone. The rats in the EMF, EMF + MEL, EMF + ω-3 groups were exposed to 900 MHz EMF for 60 min/day in an exposure tube during the gestation period. The CONT, MEL and ω-3 group rats were not placed inside the exposure tube or exposed to EMF during the study period. After delivery, only spontaneously delivered male rat pups were selected for the establishment of further groups. Each group of offspring consisted of six animals. The optical fractionator technique was used to determine total pyramidal neuron numbers in the rat hippocampal region.


The total number of pyramidal cells in the cornu ammonis (CA) in the EMF group was significantly lower than in the CONT, SHAM, EMF + MEL, and EMF + ω-3 groups. No significant difference was observed between the EMF, MEL and ω-3 groups. No difference was also observed between any groups in terms of rats' body or brain weights.


MEL and ω-3 can protect the cell against neuronal damage in the hippocampus induced by 900 MHz EMF. However, further studies are now needed to evaluate the chronic effects of 900 MHz EMF on the brain in the prenatal period.


Electromagnetic field; melatonin; neuronal damage; omega-3

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