Gökçek-Saraç Ç, Akçay G, Karakurt S, Ateş K, Özen Ş, Derin N. Possible effects of different doses of 2.1 GHz electromagnetic radiation on learning, and hippocampal levels of cholinergic biomarkers in Wistar rats. Electromagn Biol Med. 2020 Dec 1:1-12. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2020.1851251. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33259237.
The present study evaluated whether short-term exposure to different doses of 2.1 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) has different effects on rats’ behaviour and hippocampal levels of central cholinergic biomarkers. Animals were divided into three equal groups namely; group 1 was sham-exposed group, group 2-3 were exposed to 45 V/m and 65 V/m doses of 2.1 GHz frequency for 1 week respectively. Numerical dosimetry simulations were carried out. Object location and Y-maze were used as behavioural tasks. The protein and mRNA expression levels of AChE, ChAT, and VAChT, in the hippocampus were tested using Western Blotting and Real-Time PCR. The impairment performance of rats subjected to 65 V/m dose of 2.1 GHz RF-EMR in both object location and Y-maze tasks was observed. The hippocampal levels of AChE, ChAT, and VAChT, were significantly lower in rats exposed to 65 V/m dose of 2.1 GHz RF-EMR than others. The stronger effect of “65 V/m” dose on both rat’s hippocampal-dependent behavioural performances and hippocampal levels of cholinergic biomarkers may be due to the stronger effect of “65 V/m” dose where rats’ snouts were located at the nearest distance from the monopole antenna. Furthermore, the simulated SAR values were high for 65 V/m electric-field strengths. For the first time, we report the potential dose-dependent effects of short-term exposure to 2.1 GHz radiation on rat’s behavioural performances as well as hippocampal levels of cholinergic biomarkers. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms by which RF-EMR influences the function of the central cholinergic system in the brain.