Prenatal Effects of a 1,800-MHz Electromagnetic Field on Rat Livers


The use of devices, including mobile phones, generating electromagnetic fields (EMF) is widespread and is progressively increasing. It has also been shown that EMF may have detrimental effects. This is the first study to investigate the postnatal biochemical and histological effects of prenatal exposure of rat livers to 1,800-MHz EMF at different time intervals in uteroplacental life. The 3 EMF groups of rats were exposed to 1,800-MHz EMF for 6, 12, or 24 h daily for 20 days. Unexposed rats served as control group. All rats were subjected to anesthesia, and on postnatal day 60, the livers were excised, and blood was collected for histological and biochemical analyses. Malondialdehyde levels were significantly higher in the exposed groups than the unexposed controls (p < 0.05). In contrast, EMF-exposed groups had lower liver tissue glutathione levels than controls (p < 0.05). Serum Ca2+, alanine transaminase, and aspartate aminotransferase levels were higher in EMF-exposed groups than controls (p < 0.05). In addition, liver tissue total oxidant status levels were increased (p < 0.05), and liver tissue total antioxidant status levels were decreased (p < 0.05) compared to the control group. Furthermore, in the EMF groups, extensive vacuolation and degeneration of the hepatocytes in the portal area, as well as those surrounding the sinusoids, were evident. Affected hepatocytes had polygonally shaped nuclei and vacuolic cytoplasm imparting eosinophilic staining. Loss of cellular membrane integrity and invaginations, as well as picnotic nuclei, was prominent. This study has shown that intrauterine liver damage caused by 1,800-MHz EMF exposure persists into puberty in rats.


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