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Neurol Res. 2017 Feb;39(2):165-175. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2016.1252875. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

Effects of repeated 9 and 30-day exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on social recognition behavior and estrogen receptors expression in olfactory bulb of Wistar female rats.

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a Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Fisiología , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México , Ciudad de México , Mexico.
b División Académica Multidisciplinaria de Comalcalco , Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco , Comalcalco , Mexico.



We investigated the short- and long-term effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) on social recognition behavior and expression of α- and β-estrogen receptors (ER).


Rats were exposed to 60-Hz electromagnetic fields for 9 or 30 days and tested for social recognition behavior. Immunohistochemistry and western blot assays were performed to evaluate α- and β-ER expression in the olfactory bulb of intact, ovariectomized (OVX), and ovariectomized+estradiol (E2) replacement (OVX+E2).


Ovariectomization showed impairment of social recognition after 9 days of EMF exposure and a complete recovery after E2 replacement and so did those after 30 days. Short EMF exposure increased expression of β-ER in intact, but not in the others. Longer exposure produced a decrease in intact but an increase in OVX and OVX+E2.


Our findings suggest a significant role for β-estrogen receptors and a lack of effect for α-estrogen receptors on a social recognition task.


EMF: extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; ERs: estrogen receptors; OB: olfactory bulb; OVX: ovariectomized; OVX + E2: ovariectomized + estradiol replacement; IEI: interexposure interval; β-ER: beta estrogen receptor; E2: replacement of estradiol; GAPDH: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; WB: Western blot; PBS: phosphate-buffer saline; PB: phosphate-buffer.


EMF; Social recognition memory; olfactory bulb; α-estrogen receptors; β-estrogen receptors

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