Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Exposure to GSM 900 MHz electromagnetic fields affects cerebral cytochrome c oxidase activity. med./bio.

Published in: Toxicology 2008; 250 (1): 70-74

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To measure cytochrome c oxidase levels in order to evaluate regional brain metabolic activity in rat brain after exposure to a GSM 900 MHz signal.

Background/further details

24 male rats were randomly assigned to four different groups and exposed for seven days: 1) six rats were exposed 15 min/day (SAR=6 W/kg), 2) six rats were exposed for 45 min/day (SAR=1.5 W/kg), 3) six rats were used as sham exposure groups (three for 15 min and three for 45 min) and 4) six rats were kept without any manipulation (cage control).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure, 15 or 45 min/day, for 7 days
  • SAR: 6 W/kg (15 min)
  • SAR: 1.5 W/kg (45 min)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure, 15 or 45 min/day, for 7 days
Modulation type pulsed
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info


Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber The exposure set-up was described in [Brillaud et al., 2007; Dubreuil et al., 2002; Mausset et al., 2001].
Setup The animals were individually restrained in a perforated Plexiglas rocket with a truncated cone containing the rat's head and a loop antenna.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg - - - 15 min
SAR 1.5 W/kg - - - 45 min

Reference articles

  • Brillaud E et al. (2007): Effect of an acute 900MHz GSM exposure on glia in the rat brain: a time-dependent study.
  • Dubreuil D et al. (2002): Does head-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks?
  • Mausset AL et al. (2001): Effects of radiofrequency exposure on the GABAergic system in the rat cerebellum: clues from semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Compared to the sham exposure group and the cage control, rats exposed to a GSM signal at 6 W/kg showed decreased cytochrome c oxidase activity in some areas of the prefrontal and frontal cortex, the septum, the hippocampus and the posterior cortex. The exposure to GSM at 1.5 W/kg did not affect brain metabolic activity.
The results indicate that 6 W/kg GSM 900 MHz microwaves may affect brain metabolism in rats.

Study character:

Study funded by

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