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03/11/2014 - November 2014 - Science Update

The following is a quick summary of another twenty papers that have come out over the last few months related to effects of electromagnetic radiation. All papers with a green background are highlighted as being particularly important or relevant.

1. P Qin F et al, (January 2014) Effects of nano-selenium on cognition performance of mice exposed in 1800 MHz radiofrequency fields, Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2014 Jan;43(1):16-21 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

To study the effects of nano-selenium (NSe) on cognition performance of mice exposed to 1800 MHz radiofrequency fields (RF). Male mice were randomly divided into four groups, control and nano-Se low, middle and high dose groups (L, M, H). Each group was sub-divided into three groups, RF 0 min, RF 30 min and RF 120 min. Nano-se solution (2, 4 and 8 microg/ml) were administered to mice of L, M, H groups by intra-gastric injection respectively, 0.5 ml/d for 50 days, the conctral group were administered with distilled water. At the 21st day, the mice in RF subgroup were exposed to 208 microW/cm2 1800 MHz radiofrequency fields (0, 30 and 120 min/d respectively) for 30 days. The cognitive ability of the mice were tested with Y-maze. Further, the levels of MDA, GABA, Glu, Ach and the activities of CAT and GSH-Px in cerebra were measured. Significant impairments in learning and memory (P < 0.05) were observed in the RF 120 min group, and with reduction of the Ach level and the activities of CAT and GSH-Px and increase of the content of GABA, Glu and MDA in cerebrum. NSe enhanced cognitive performance of RF mice, decreased GABA, Glu and MDA levels, increased Ach levels, GSH-Px and CAT activities. NSe could improve cognitive impairments of mice exposed to RF, the mechanism of which might involve the increasing antioxidation, decreasing free radical content and the changes of cerebra neurotransmitters.

2. P Ingole IV, Ghosh SK, (December 2012) Effect of exposure to radio frequency radiation emitted by cell phone on the developing dorsal root ganglion of chick embryo: a light microscopic study, Nepal Med Coll J. 2012 Dec;14(4):337-41 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

With an ever increasing number of cell phone users since late twenty first century, magnitude of the problem of exposure to radiation emitted by cell phone is self evident. Extensive research had been devoted to incriminate or absolve it as a health hazard. Radiofrequency radiation emitted by cell phone had been stated to be a potent carcinogen, cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic and neurobehavioral teratogen. Its effect on the brain had been a subject of extensive research evidently due to its proximity to the user's brain. While considering the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation, its intensity, frequency and the duration of exposure are important determinants. Nevertheless the results of these different studies have not been unequivocal. Considering the contradictory reports, the present work was undertaken to study the effect of such an exposure on the developing neural tissue of chick embryo. The processes of cell division and differentiation are fundamental to the development of any living being and are a sensitive index of any insult sustained at this stage. Neurons of dorsal root ganglion were selected for the present study as these ganglia were fully differentiated as early as fourth day of embryonic life. By varying duration of exposure, the embryos were exposed to different doses of radiation, sacrificed at different periods of incubation and subjected to histological processing. On light microscopic study it was observed that developing neurons of dorsal root ganglion suffered a damage which was dose dependent and persisted in spite of giving the exposure-free period between two exposures.

Powerwatch CommentsThis is a fairly basic study in the sense of it not using a lot of sophisticated tests that need interpreting - but that is a strength. This study shows serious visually detectable impairment of developmental processes in living chick embryos over a range of typical RF exposures from cell-phones.

3. P Seong Y et al, (March 2014) Egr1 mediated the neuronal differentiation induced by extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields, Life Sci. 2014 Mar 3. pii: S0024-3205(14)00278-1. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.02.022. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

There is a specific frequency of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) that promotes neuronal differentiation. Although several mechanisms are known to regulate ELF-EMF-induced neuronal differentiation, a key factor that mediates neurogenic potentials by the ELF-EMF is largely unknown. Also, the potential use of ELF-EMF exposure in cell transplantation assays is yet to be determined, including their possible use in ELF-EMF based therapy of neurological diseases. The aim of this study is to understand the underlying mechanisms that mediate ELF-EMF-induced neuronal differentiation and also to harness these mechanisms for cell transplantation assays. Human bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) were exposed to ELF-EMF (50Hz frequency, 1mT intensity) for 8days. The hBM-MSC derived neurons were then analyzed by general molecular biology techniques including immunofluorescence and quantitative RT-PCR. To assess changes in gene expression induced by ELF-EMF exposure, we analyzed the transcriptome of neuronal cells after an 8-day ELF-EMF exposure (50Hz, 1mT) and compared the transcriptional profiles to control cells. We found that early growth response protein 1 (Egr1) is one of the key transcription factors in ELF-EMF-induced neuronal differentiation. In addition, we show that transplantations of ELF-EMF-induced neurons significantly alleviate symptoms in mouse models of neurodegenerative disease. These findings indicate that a specific transcriptional factor, Egr1, mediates ELF-EMF-induced neuronal differentiations, and demonstrate the promise of ELF-EMF based cell replacement therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

4. P Ma Q et al, (March 2014) Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields affect transcript levels of neuronal differentiation-related genes in embryonic neural stem cells, PLoS One. 2014 Mar 3;9(3):e90041. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090041. eCollection 2014 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Previous studies have reported that extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) can affect the processes of brain development, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. The proliferation and differentiation of embryonic neural stem cells (eNSCs) is essential for brain development during the gestation period. To date, there is no report about the effects of ELF-EMF on eNSCs. In this paper, we studied the effects of ELF-EMF on the proliferation and differentiation of eNSCs. Primary cultured eNSCs were treated with 50 Hz ELF-EMF; various magnetic intensities and exposure times were applied. Our data showed that there was no significant change in cell proliferation, which was evaluated by cell viability (CCK-8 assay), DNA synthesis (Edu incorporation), average diameter of neurospheres, cell cycle distribution (flow cytometry) and transcript levels of cell cycle related genes (P53, P21 and GADD45 detected by real-time PCR). When eNSCs were induced to differentiation, real-time PCR results showed a down-regulation of Sox2 and up-regulation of Math1, Math3, Ngn1 and Tuj1 mRNA levels after 50 Hz ELF-EMF exposure (2 mT for 3 days), but the percentages of neurons (Tuj1 positive cells) and astrocytes (GFAP positive cells) were not altered when detected by immunofluorescence assay. Although cell proliferation and the percentages of neurons and astrocytes differentiated from eNSCs were not affected by 50 Hz ELF-EMF, the expression of genes regulating neuronal differentiation was altered. In conclusion, our results support that 50 Hz ELF-EMF induce molecular changes during eNSCs differentiation, which might be compensated by post-transcriptional mechanisms to support cellular homeostasis.

5. P Jia HL et al, (February 2014) Combined effects of 50 Hz magnetic field and magnetic nanoparticles on the proliferation and apoptosis of PC12 cells, Biomed Environ Sci. 2014 Feb;27(2):97-105. doi: 10.3967/bes2014.022 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

To investigate the bioeffects of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF) (50 Hz, 400 µT) and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) via cytotoxicity and apoptosis assays on PC12 cells. MNPs modified by SiO2 (MNP-SiO2) were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering and hysteresis loop measurement. PC12 cells were administrated with MNP-SiO2 with or without MF exposure for 48 h. Cytotoxicity and apoptosis were evaluated with MTT assay and annexin V-FITC/PI staining, respectively. The morphology and uptake of MNP-SiO2 were determined by TEM. MF simulation was performed by Ansoft Maxwell based on the finite element method. MNP-SiO2 were identified as ~20 nm (diameter) ferromagnetic particles. MNP-SiO2 reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. MF also reduced cell viability with increasing concentrations of MNP-SiO2. MNP-SiO2 alone did not cause apoptosis in PC12 cells; instead, the proportion of apoptotic cells increased significantly under MF exposure and increasing doses of MNP-SiO2. MNP-SiO2 could be ingested and then cause a slight change in cell morphology. Combined exposure of MF and MNP-SiO2 resulted in remarkable cytotoxicity and increased apoptosis in PC12 cells. The results suggested that MF exposure could strengthen the MF of MNPs, which may enhance the bioeffects of ELF MF.

6. P Leone L et al, (February 2014) Epigenetic Modulation of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Throughout life, adult neurogenesis generates new neurons in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus that have a critical role in memory formation. Strategies able to stimulate this endogenous process have raised considerable interest because of their potential use to treat neurological disorders entailing cognitive impairment. We previously reported that mice exposed to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFEFs) showed increased hippocampal neurogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that the ELFEF-dependent enhancement of hippocampal neurogenesis improves spatial learning and memory. To gain insights on the molecular mechanisms underlying ELFEFs' effects, we extended our studies to an in vitro model of neural stem cells (NSCs) isolated from the hippocampi of newborn mice. We found that ELFEFs enhanced proliferation and neuronal differentiation of hippocampal NSCs by regulation of epigenetic mechanisms leading to pro-neuronal gene expression. Upon ELFEF stimulation of NSCs, we observed a significant enhancement of expression of the pro-proliferative gene hairy enhancer of split 1 and the neuronal determination genes NeuroD1 and Neurogenin1. These events were preceded by increased acetylation of H3K9 and binding of the phosphorylated transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) on the regulatory sequence of these genes. Such ELFEF-dependent epigenetic modifications were prevented by the Cav1-channel blocker nifedipine, and were associated with increased occupancy of CREB-binding protein (CBP) to the same loci within the analyzed promoters. Our results unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the ELFEFs' ability to improve endogenous neurogenesis, pointing to histone acetylation-related chromatin remodeling as a critical determinant. These findings could pave the way to the development of novel therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine.

7. P Zhu H et al, (October 2013) Effect of puerarin on matrix metalloproteinase-2 in human fetal scleral fibroblasts treated with low frequency electromagnetic fields, J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Oct;33(5):664-8 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The objective if this paper was to study the effect of puerarin on matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) gene and protein expression in human fetal scleral fibroblasts (HFSFs) exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF). Cultured HFSFs were exposed to 0.2 mT ELF-EMF for 24 h. The experimental groups were divided into subgroups treated with 0, 0.1, 1 and 10 microM puerarin respectively. The expression of MMP-2 mRNA and protein were detected with real-time polymerase chain reaction and western-blot analysis respectively. MMP-2 mRNA and protein expression increased by 0.793 and 1.130 folds respectively under the exposure of ELF-EMFs at 0.2 mT flux density for 24 h. Puerarin at the concentration of 0.1 microM reversed this effect by 8.53% in mRNA and by 17.97% in protein expression (P < 0.05). The effect was more prominent at higher concentrations (1 and 10 microM, P < 0.01). Exposure to ELF-EMFs increased the expression of MMP-2 mRNA and protein in HFSF cells. Puerarin reversed the action to some extent in a specific concentration range. Our results implied that the puerarin might protect scleral tissue from increased expression induced by exposure to ELF-EMFs.

8. - Gherardini L et al, (March 2014) Searching for the perfect wave: the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on cells, Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Mar 27;15(4):5366-87. doi: 10.3390/ijms15045366 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

There is a growing concern in the population about the effects that environmental exposure to any source of "uncontrolled" radiation may have on public health. Anxiety arises from the controversial knowledge about the effect of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure to cells and organisms but most of all concerning the possible causal relation to human diseases. Here we reviewed those in vitro and in vivo and epidemiological works that gave a new insight about the effect of radio frequency (RF) exposure, relating to intracellular molecular pathways that lead to biological and functional outcomes. It appears that a thorough application of standardized protocols is the key to reliable data acquisition and interpretation that could contribute a clearer picture for scientists and lay public. Moreover, specific tuning of experimental and clinical RF exposure might lead to beneficial health effects.

9. P Seckin E et al, (May 2014) The effect of radiofrequency radiation generated by a Global System for Mobile Communications source on cochlear development in a rat model, J Laryngol Otol. 2014 May;128(5):400-5. doi: 10.1017/S0022215114000723. Epub 2014 May 1 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Objective: This study aimed to determine the effect of radiofrequency radiation generated by 900 and 1800 MHz Global System for Mobile Communications sources on cochlear development in the rat model. Methods: Eight pregnant albino Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. The latter two groups of pregnant rats were exposed to radiofrequency radiation for 1 hour per day starting on the 12th day of pregnancy until delivery. The rats in the control, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz groups gave birth to 24, 31 and 26 newborn rats respectively. Newborn rats in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz groups were exposed to radiofrequency radiation for 1 hour per day for 21 days after delivery. Hearing evaluations of newborn rats were carried out using distortion product otoacoustic emissions testing. Eight newborn rats were randomly selected from each group for electron microscopic evaluation. Results: Distortion product otoacoustic emission tests revealed no significant difference among the groups, but electron microscopic evaluation revealed significant differences among the groups with regard to the number of normal, apoptotic and necrotic cells. Conclusion: The findings indicated cellular structural damage in the cochlea caused by radiofrequency radiation exposure during cochlear development in the rat model.

10. P Kantar Gok D et al, (July 2014) Effects of extremely low-frequency electric fields at different intensities and exposure durations on mismatch negativity, Neuroscience. 2014 Jul 11;272:154-66. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.04.056. Epub 2014 May 6 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The effects of extremely low-frequency electric fields (ELF-EFs, 3-300Hz) on lipid peroxidation levels and antioxidant enzyme activities have been shown in many tissues and plasma after exposure to 50-Hz alternating current (AC) electric fields. However, similar studies investigating brain lipid peroxidation status are limited. Moreover and as far as we know, no study has been conducted to examine mismatch negativity (MMN) response in rats following exposure to a 50-Hz AC electric field. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to investigate different intensities and exposure durations of ELF-EFs on MMN component of event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as apoptosis and oxidative brain damage in rats. Ninety male rats, aged 3months were used in our study. A total of six groups, composed of 15 animals each, was formed as follows: sham-exposed rats for 2weeks (C2), sham-exposed rats for 4weeks (C4), rats exposed to 12-kV/m and 18-kV/m electric fields for 2weeks (E12-2 and E18-2), rats exposed to 12- and 18-kV/m electric fields for 4weeks (E12-4 and E18-4). At the end of the experimental period, MMN responses were recorded in urethane-anesthetized rats by electrodes positioned stereotaxically to the surface of the dura. After MMN recordings, animals were killed by exsanguination and their brain tissues were removed for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE), protein carbonyl and TUNEL analysis. In the current study, different change patterns in ERP parameters were observed dependent on the intensity and exposure duration of ELF-EFs. There were differences in the amplitudes of ERP between the responses to the standard and the deviant tones in all groups. When peak-to-peak amplitude of the difference curves was evaluated, MMN amplitude was significantly decreased in the E18-4 group compared with the C4 group. Additionally, the amount of 4-HNE was increased in all experimental groups compared with the control group. Consequently, it could be concluded that electric field decreased MMN amplitudes possibly induced by lipid peroxidation.

11. P Ozgur E et al, (May 2014) Mobile Phone Radiation Alters Proliferation of Hepatocarcinoma Cells, Cell Biochem Biophys. 2014 May 11. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

This study investigated the effects of intermittent exposure (15 min on, 15 min off for 1, 2, 3, or 4 h, at a specific absorption rate of 2 W/kg) to enhanced data rates for global system for mobile communication evolution-modulated radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at 900- and 1,800-MHz frequencies on the viability of the Hepatocarcinoma cells (Hep G2). Hep G2 cell proliferation was measured by a colorimetric assay based on the cleavage of the tetrazolium salt WST-1 by mitochondrial dehydrogenases in viable cells. Cell injury was evaluated by analyzing the levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and glucose released from lysed cells into the culture medium. Morphological observation of the nuclei was carried out by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining using fluorescence microscopy. In addition, TUNEL assay was performed to confirm apoptotic cell death. It was observed that cell viability, correlated with the LDH and glucose levels, changed according to the frequency and duration of RFR exposure. Four-hour exposure produced more pronounced effects than the other exposure durations. 1,800-MHz RFR had a larger impact on cell viability and Hep G2 injury than the RFR at 900 MHz. Morphological observations also supported the biochemical results indicating that most of the cells showed irregular nuclei pattern determined by using the DAPI staining, as well as TUNEL assay which shows DNA damage especially in the cells after 4 h of exposure to 1,800-MHz RFR. Our results indicate that the applications of 900- and 1,800-MHz (2 W/kg) RFR cause to decrease in the proliferation of the Hep G2 cells after 4 h of exposure. Further studies will be conducted on other frequency bands of RFR and longer duration of exposure.

12. P Coureau G et al, (July 2014) Mobile phone use and brain tumours in the CERENAT case-control study, Occup Environ Med. 2014 Jul;71(7):514-22. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2013-101754. Epub 2014 May 9 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The carcinogenic effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in humans remains controversial. However, it has been suggested that they could be involved in the aetiology of some types of brain tumours. The objective was to analyse the association between mobile phone exposure and primary central nervous system tumours (gliomas and meningiomas) in adults. CERENAT is a multicenter case-control study carried out in four areas in France in 2004-2006. Data about mobile phone use were collected through a detailed questionnaire delivered in a face-to-face manner. Conditional logistic regression for matched sets was used to estimate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs. A total of 253 gliomas, 194 meningiomas and 892 matched controls selected from the local electoral rolls were analysed. No association with brain tumours was observed when comparing regular mobile phone users with non-users (OR=1.24; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.77 for gliomas, OR=0.90; 95% CI 0.61 to 1.34 for meningiomas). However, the positive association was statistically significant in the heaviest users when considering life-long cumulative duration (>896 h, OR=2.89; 95% CI 1.41 to 5.93 for gliomas; OR=2.57; 95% CI 1.02 to 6.44 for meningiomas) and number of calls for gliomas (>18360 calls, OR=2.10, 95% CI 1.03 to 4.31). Risks were higher for gliomas, temporal tumours, occupational and urban mobile phone use. These additional data support previous findings concerning a possible association between heavy mobile phone use and brain tumours.

Powerwatch CommentsThis is a very important study that confirms both the various Hardell, et al, findings and the somewhat disputed Interphone findings - that long-term, and/or high-hours, use of a mobile phone increases glioma incidence rates - both with time and with cumulative dose. Regular, and especially long-call-duration, use of a mobile phone was shown to increase the likelihood that the user will develop a brain tumour between 2 and 3-fold. Gliomas have a particularly poor prognosis with most people only surviving 1 to 3 years after diagnosis. This is an important paper that confirms existing studies and which should help move the IARC RF evaluation strongly towards a Group 2A - "probable human carcinogen".

13. P Liu K et al, (May 2014) The protective effect of autophagy on mouse spermatocyte derived cells exposure to 1800MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, Toxicol Lett. 2014 May 9;228(3):216-224. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.05.004. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The increasing exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted from mobile phone use has raised public concern regarding the biological effects of RF exposure on the male reproductive system. Autophagy contributes to maintaining intracellular homeostasis under environmental stress. To clarify whether RF exposure could induce autophagy in the spermatocyte, mouse spermatocyte-derived cells (GC-2) were exposed to 1800MHz Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) signals in GSM-Talk mode at specific absorption rate (SAR) values of 1w/kg, 2w/kg or 4w/kg for 24h, respectively. The results indicated that the expression of LC3-II increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner with RF exposure, and showed a significant change at the SAR value of 4w/kg. The autophagosome formation and the occurrence of autophagy were further confirmed by GFP-LC3 transient transfection assay and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Furthermore, the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II was enhanced by co-treatment with Chloroquine (CQ), indicating autophagic flux could be enhanced by RF exposure. Intracellular ROS levels significantly increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner after cells were exposed to RF. Pretreatment with anti-oxidative NAC obviously decreased the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and attenuated the degradation of p62 induced by RF exposure. Meanwhile, phosphorylated extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) significantly increased after RF exposure at the SAR value of 2w/kg and 4w/kg. Moreover, we observed that RF exposure did not increase the percentage of apoptotic cells, but inhibition of autophagy could increase the percentage of apoptotic cells. These findings suggested that autophagy flux could be enhanced by 1800MHz GSM exposure (4w/kg), which is mediated by ROS generation. Autophagy may play an important role in preventing cells from apoptotic cell death under RF exposure stress.

14. P de Vocht F, Lee B, (August 2014) Residential proximity to electromagnetic field sources and birth weight: Minimizing residual confounding using multiple imputation and propensity score matching, Environ Int. 2014 Aug;69:51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.012. Epub 2014 May 7 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Studies have suggested that residential exposure to extremely low frequency (50Hz) electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) from high voltage cables, overhead power lines, electricity substations or towers are associated with reduced birth weight and may be associated with adverse birth outcomes or even miscarriages. We previously conducted a study of 140,356 singleton live births between 2004 and 2008 in Northwest England, which suggested that close residential proximity (=50m) to ELF-EMF sources was associated with reduced average birth weight of 212g (95%CI: -395 to -29g) but not with statistically significant increased risks for other adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the cohort was limited by missing data for most potentially confounding variables including maternal smoking during pregnancy, which was only available for a small subgroup, while also residual confounding could not be excluded. This study, using the same cohort, was conducted to minimize the effects of these problems using multiple imputation to address missing data and propensity score matching to minimize residual confounding. Missing data were imputed using multiple imputation using chained equations to generate five datasets. For each dataset 115 exposed women (residing =50m from a residential ELF-EMF source) were propensity score matched to 1150 unexposed women. After doubly robust confounder adjustment, close proximity to a residential ELF-EMF source remained associated with a reduction in birth weight of -116g (95% confidence interval: -224:-7g). No effect was found for proximity =100m compared to women living further away. These results indicate that although the effect size was about half of the effect previously reported, close maternal residential proximity to sources of ELF-EMF remained associated with suboptimal fetal growth.

15. P Chen C et al, (May 2014) Exposure to 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation impairs neurite outgrowth of embryonic neural stem cells, Sci Rep. 2014 May 29;4:5103. doi: 10.1038/srep05103. [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

A radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) of 1800 MHz is widely used in mobile communications. However, the effects of RF-EMFs on cell biology are unclear. Embryonic neural stem cells (eNSCs) play a critical role in brain development. Thus, detecting the effects of RF-EMF on eNSCs is important for exploring the effects of RF-EMF on brain development. Here, we exposed eNSCs to 1800 MHz RF-EMF at specific absorption rate (SAR) values of 1, 2, and 4 W/kg for 1, 2, and 3 days. We found that 1800 MHz RF-EMF exposure did not influence eNSC apoptosis, proliferation, cell cycle or the mRNA expressions of related genes. RF-EMF exposure also did not alter the ratio of eNSC differentiated neurons and astrocytes. However, neurite outgrowth of eNSC differentiated neurons was inhibited after 4 W/kg RF-EMF exposure for 3 days. Additionally, the mRNA and protein expression of the proneural genes Ngn1 and NeuroD, which are crucial for neurite outgrowth, were decreased after RF-EMF exposure. The expression of their inhibitor Hes1 was upregulated by RF-EMF exposure. These results together suggested that 1800 MHz RF-EMF exposure impairs neurite outgrowth of eNSCs. More attention should be given to the potential adverse effects of RF-EMF exposure on brain development.

16. P Maskey D et al, (August 2014) Alteration of glycine receptor immunoreactivity in the auditory brainstem of mice following three months of exposure to radiofrequency radiation at SAR 4.0 W/kg, Int J Mol Med. 2014 Aug;34(2):409-19. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.1784. Epub 2014 May 22 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

The increasing use of mobile communication has triggered an interest in its possible effects on the regulation of neurotransmitter signals. Due to the close proximity of mobile phones to hearing-related brain regions during usage, its use may lead to a decrease in the ability to segregate sounds, leading to serious auditory dysfunction caused by the prolonged exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. The interplay among auditory processing, excitation and inhibitory molecule interactions plays a major role in auditory function. In particular, inhibitory molecules, such a glycine, are predominantly localized in the auditory brainstem. However, the effects of exposure to RF radiation on auditory function have not been reported to date. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exposure to RF radiation on glycine receptor (GlyR) immunoreactivity (IR) in the auditory brainstem region at 835 MHz with a specific absorption rate of 4.0 W/kg for three months using free-floating immunohistochemistry. Compared with the sham control (SC) group, a significant loss of staining intensity of neuropils and cells in the different subdivisions of the auditory brainstem regions was observed in the mice exposed to RF radiation (E4 group). A decrease in the number of GlyR immunoreactive cells was also noted in the cochlear nuclear complex [anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN), 31.09%; dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), 14.08%; posteroventral cochlear nucleus (PVCN), 32.79%] and the superior olivary complex (SOC) [lateral superior olivary nucleus (LSO), 36.85%; superior paraolivary nucleus (SPN), 24.33%, medial superior olivary nucleus (MSO), 23.23%; medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), 10.15%] of the mice in the E4 group. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) analysis also revealed a significant threshold elevation of in the exposed (E4) group, which may be associated with auditory dysfunction. The present study suggests that the auditory brainstem region is susceptible to chronic exposure to RF radiation, which may affect the function of the central auditory system.

17. P Saikhedkar N et al, (May 2014) Effects of mobile phone radiation (900 MHz radiofrequency) on structure and functions of rat brain, Neurol Res. 2014 May 26:1743132814Y0000000392. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Objectives: The goals of this study were: (1) to obtain basic information about the effects of long-term use of mobile phone on cytological makeup of the hippocampus in rat brain (2) to evaluate the effects on antioxidant status, and (3) to evaluate the effects on cognitive behavior particularly on learning and memory. Methods: Rats (age 30 days, 120 ± 5 g) were exposed to 900 MHz radio waves by means of a mobile hand set for 4 hours per day for 15 days. Effects on anxiety, spatial learning, and memory were studied using open field test, elevated plus maze, Morris water maze (MWM), and classic maze test. Effects on brain antioxidant status were also studied. Cresyl violet staining was done to access the neuronal damage. Result: A significant change in behavior, i.e., more anxiety and poor learning was shown by test animals as compared to controls and sham group. A significant change in level of antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidants, and increase in lipid peroxidation were observed in test rats. Histological examination showed neurodegenerative cells in hippocampal sub regions and cerebral cortex. Discussion: Thus our findings indicate extensive neurodegeneration on exposure to radio waves. Increased production of reactive oxygen species due to exhaustion of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation are indicating extensive neurodegeneration in selective areas of CA1, CA3, DG, and cerebral cortex. This extensive neuronal damage results in alterations in behavior related to memory and learning.

18. P Shafiei SA et al, (May 2014) Investigation of EEG changes during exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field to conduct brain signals, Neurol Sci. 2014 May 27. [Epub ahead of print] [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

There are evidences that confirm the effect of magnetic fields (MFs) on brain signals and some psychological disorders such as headache, migraine and depression. The aim of the present study was to investigate changes in EEG power spectrum due to localized exposure in different parts of the brain by extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) to extract some protocols for treatment of some psychological disorders. In addition, regular effects were investigated by increasing intensity of ELF-MF. Therefore, EEG relative power spectrum was evaluated at T4, T3, F3, F4, and Cz points, when all the points were exposed to MFs with 45, 17, 10, 5, and 3 Hz frequencies, separately. Intensity of MF was 0, 100, 240, or 360 µT in four sessions. Significant changes were observed in different EEG bands caused by locally exposing to ELF-MF in different points of brain (P < 0.05). Some exposure to MFs decreased alpha band of frontal and central areas in closed-eyes state. Based on the findings in this study, some protocols can be designed using a combination of various MFs exposures to conduct the brain signals that is necessary to evaluate clinically.

19. P Pelletier A et al, (June 2014) Does exposure to a radiofrequency electromagnetic field modify thermal preference in juvenile rats?, PLoS One. 2014 Jun 6;9(6):e99007. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099007. eCollection 2014 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Some studies have shown that people living near a mobile phone base station may report sleep disturbances and discomfort. Using a rat model, we have previously shown that chronic exposure to a low-intensity radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) was associated with paradoxical sleep (PS) fragmentation and greater vasomotor tone in the tail. Here, we sought to establish whether sleep disturbances might result from the disturbance of thermoregulatory processes by a RF-EMF. We recorded thermal preference and sleep stage distribution in 18 young male Wistar rats. Nine animals were exposed to a low-intensity RF-EMF (900 MHz, 1 V.m-1) for five weeks and nine served as non-exposed controls. Thermal preference was assessed in an experimental chamber comprising three interconnected compartments, in which the air temperatures (Ta) were set to 24°C, 28°C and 31°C. Sleep and tail skin temperature were also recorded. Our results indicated that relative to control group, exposure to RF-EMF at 31°C was associated with a significantly lower tail skin temperature (-1.6°C) which confirmed previous data. During the light period, the exposed group preferred to sleep at Ta = 31°C and the controls preferred Ta = 28°C. The mean sleep duration in exposed group was significantly greater (by 15.5%) than in control group (due in turn to a significantly greater amount of slow wave sleep (SWS, +14.6%). Similarly, frequency of SWS was greater in exposed group (by 4.9 episodes.h-1). The PS did not differ significantly between the two groups. During the dark period, there were no significant intergroup differences. We conclude that RF-EMF exposure induced a shift in thermal preference towards higher temperatures. The shift in preferred temperature might result from a cold thermal sensation. The change in sleep stage distribution may involve signals from thermoreceptors in the skin. Modulation of SWS may be a protective adaptation in response to RF-EMF exposure.

20. N Monazzam MR et al, (April 2014) Sleep quality and general health status of employees exposed to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in a petrochemical complex, J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014 Apr 29;12:78. doi: 10.1186/2052-336X-12-78. eCollection 2014 [View Author's abstract conclusions] [View on Pubmed]

Advances in science and technology of electrical equipment, despite increasing human welfare in everyday life, have increased the number of people exposed to Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMFs). Because of possible adverse effects on the health of exposed individuals, the EMFs have being the center of attention. This study was performed to determine possible correlation between Extremely Low Frequency Electro-Magnetic Fields (ELF EMFs) and sleep quality and public health of those working in substation units of a petrochemical complex in southern Iran. To begin with, magnetic flux density was measured at different parts of a Control Building and two substations in accordance with IEEE std 644-1994. Subsequently, the questionnaires "Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index" (PSQI) and "General Health Quality (GHQ)" were used to investigate relationship between ELF exposure level and sleep quality and public health, respectively. Both questionnaires were placed at disposal of a total number of 40 workers at the complex. The filled out questionnaires were analyzed by T-test, Duncan and the Chi-square tests. The obtained results revealed that 28% of those in case group suffered from poor health status and 61% were diagnosed with a sleep disorder. However, all members in control group were in good health condition and only 4.5% of them had undesirable sleep quality. In spite of a significant difference between the case and control groups in terms of sleep quality and general health, no significant relationship was found between the exposure level and sleep quality and general health. It is worth noting that the measured EMF values were lower than the standard limits recommended by American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). However, given the uncertainties about the pathogenic effects caused by exposure to ELF EMFs, further epidemiological studies and periodic testing of personnel working in high voltage substations are of utmost importance.