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Biotech Histochem. 2016 Aug 11:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of long-term exposure to 900 megahertz electromagnetic field on heart morphology and biochemistry of male adolescent rats.

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a Department of Histology and Embryology , Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University , Trabzon , Turkey.
b Department of Histology and Embryology , Faculty of Medicine, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University , Rize , Turkey.
c Department of Biochemistry , Faculty of Veterinary, Atatürk University , Erzurum , Turkey.
d Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering , Faculty of Engineering, Karadeniz Technical University , Trabzon , Turkey.
e Department of Anatomy , Faculty of Medicine, Düzce University , Düzce , Turkey.


The pathological effects of exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) during adolescence may be greater than those in adulthood. We investigated the effects of exposure to 900 MHz EMF during adolescence on male adult rats. Twenty-four 21-day-old male rats were divided into three equal groups: control (Cont-Gr), sham (Shm-Gr) and EMF-exposed (EMF-Gr). EMF-Gr rats were placed in an EMF exposure cage (Plexiglas cage) for 1 h/day between postnatal days 21 and 59 and exposed to 900 MHz EMF. Shm-Gr rats were placed inside the Plexiglas cage under the same conditions and for the same duration, but were not exposed to EMF. All animals were sacrificed on postnatal day 60 and the hearts were extracted for microscopic and biochemical analyses. Biochemical analysis showed increased levels of malondialdehyde and superoxide dismutase, and reduced glutathione and catalase levels in EMF-Gr compared to Cont-Gr animals. Hematoxylin and eosin stained sections from EMF-Gr animals exhibited structural changes and capillary congestion in the myocardium. The percentage of apoptotic myocardial cells in EMF-Gr was higher than in either Shm-Gr or Cont-Gr animals. Transmission electron microscopy of myocardial cells of EMF-Gr animals showed altered structure of Z bands, decreased myofilaments and pronounced vacuolization. We found that exposure of male rats to 900 MHz EMF for 1 h/day during adolescence caused oxidative stress, which caused structural alteration of male adolescent rat heart tissue.


adolescent; apoptosis; cellular phone; electromagnetic field; electron microcopy; heart; rat

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