Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

GSM radiation triggers seizures and increases cerebral c-Fos positivity in rats pretreated with subconvulsive doses of picrotoxin. med./bio.

Published in: Neurosci Lett 2006; 398 (1-2): 139-144

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of 2 h mobile phone irradiation (GSM) on rats made seizure-prone by injection of a subconvulsive dose of the GABA antagonist picrotoxin.

Background/further details

The effects were evaluated by observation of whether the rats suffered seizures and post mortem by immunochemical testing of relevant brain areas for c-Fos (a marker of neuronal activation that is produced in these brain areas by seizures).
4 groups of rats were invesigated (each of 7-8 rats): 1) Injection of picrotoxin (2 mg/kg) and exposure to irradiation, 2) injection of picrotoxin, 3) irradiation, 4) exposure to neither irradiation nor picrotoxin.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h
Exposure 2: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h
Picrotoxin-treated

General information

Four groups of rats were given the following treatments: injection of picrotoxin, exposure to radiation, picrotoxin and radiation, neither picrotoxin nor radiation.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

GSM-modulated

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Rats were individually immobilised in a tube and placed in a irradiation cage previously calibrated for measurement of the irradiation absorbed.
Setup The rat was located between a irradiating antenna and a receiving antenna with its head at an EMF maximum (as determined by FDTD calculations for the setup).
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 0.225 W - - - -
SAR 0.24 W/kg mean measured and calculated 1 g whole body
SAR 1.3 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 1 g whole body
SAR 0.42 W/kg mean measured and calculated 1 g brain
SAR 0.47 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 1 g brain

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h
Additional info Picrotoxin-treated
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

GSM-modulated

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Additional info Picrotoxin was injected i.p. immediately before exposure.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 0.225 W - - - -
SAR 0.15 W/kg mean measured and calculated 1 g whole body
SAR 0.85 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 1 g whole body
SAR 0.27 W/kg mean measured and calculated 1 g brain
SAR 0.31 W/kg peak value measured and calculated 1 g brain

Reference articles

  • Fritze K et al. (1997): Effect of global system for mobile communication microwave exposure on the genomic response of the rat brain.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Data of group 1 (picrotoxin and irradiation) showed that rats suffered seizures and the levels of the neuronal activity marker c-Fos in neocortex, paleocortex, hippocampus and thalamus increased markedly. Non-irradiated picrotoxin-treated animals did not suffer seizures, and their cerebral c-Fos counts were significantly lower. Irradiation caused no such differences in rats that had not been pretreated with picrotoxin.
The authors conclude that GSM-type irradiation can induce seizures in rats following their facilitation by subconvulsive doses of picrotoxin, and that research should be pursued into the possibility that this kind of irradiation may similarly affect brain function in humans with epileptic disorders.

Study character:

Study funded by

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