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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult rabbit. (RETRACTED)

Published in: Int J Androl 2010; 33 (1): 88-94

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the accumulating effects of exposure to mobile phone emission (12 weeks, 8 h daily, standby position) on testicular function and structure of rabbits. (The study was retracted by publisher (Rajpert-De Meyts 2012).)
Background/further details: 24 adult male rabbits were randomly and equally divided into three groups: 1) mobile phone exposure, 2) sham exposure group, and 3) cage control group. Semen analysis and sperm function tests were conducted weekly.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 800 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure, 8 h/day, for 12 weeks
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 800 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure, 8 h/day, for 12 weeks
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Additional info GSM
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber Rabbits were individually placed in cages of 50 x 25 x 35 cm without bedding material and were restricted in their movements by plastic partitions according to their sizes averaging 30 x 16 x 18 cm.
Setup Rabbits were exposed sitting down with their testes opposite to the antenna of the mobile phone fixed at the cage bottom.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 2.92 V/m mean estimated - at 0.5 cm
electric field strength 0.487 V/m mean estimated - at the most distant region inside the cage
SAR 0.43 W/kg average over mass estimated whole body FDTD
Additional parameter details
For both control groups, the cages were positioned 7 m away and the average field strength was equivalent to background radiation (0.18 V/m).
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Compared to the control groups (groups 2 and 3) a decrease in the sperm concentration appeared in the exposure group at week 6. This became statistically significant at week 8. There was no difference in motile sperm population amongst the three groups until week 10 when it declined significantly in the exposure and sham exposure groups (with more significant decline in the mobile phone exposed animals). Histological examination showed also a significant decrease in the diameter of seminiferous tubules in the mobile phone exposure group versus the two control groups. The other study parameters did not show any difference.
In conclusion, low intensity pulsed radiofrequency emitted by a conventional mobile phone kept in the standby position could affect the testicular function and structure in adult rabbits.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

Comments on this article

  • Salama N et al. (2012): Retraction. Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult rabbit.
  • Rajpert-De Meyts E (2012): Retracted: Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult rabbit.
  • Salama N et al. (2010): Authors response on Letter to the Editor on 'Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult Rabbit' by Salama et al.
  • Lerchl A et al. (2010): Letter to the Editor on 'Effects of exposure to a mobile phone on testicular function and structure in adult rabbit' by Salama et al.