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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 17;7:44521. doi: 10.1038/srep44521.

Effect of 1.8 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on novel object associative recognition memory in mice.

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State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China.
Physics department, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200241, China.


Mounting evidence suggests that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) can influence learning and memory in rodents. In this study, we examined the effects of single exposure to 1.8 GHz RF-EMR for 30 min on subsequent recognition memory in mice, using the novel object recognition task (NORT). RF-EMR exposure at an intensity of >2.2 W/kg specific absorption rate (SAR) power density induced a significant density-dependent increase in NORT index with no corresponding changes in spontaneous locomotor activity. RF-EMR exposure increased dendritic-spine density and length in hippocampal and prefrontal cortical neurons, as shown by Golgi staining. Whole-cell recordings in acute hippocampal and medial prefrontal cortical slices showed that RF-EMR exposure significantly altered the resting membrane potential and action potential frequency, and reduced the action potential half-width, threshold, and onset delay in pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate that exposure to 1.8 GHz RF-EMR for 30 min can significantly increase recognition memory in mice, and can change dendritic-spine morphology and neuronal excitability in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. The SAR in this study (3.3 W/kg) was outside the range encountered in normal daily life, and its relevance as a potential therapeutic approach for disorders associated with recognition memory deficits remains to be clarified.

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