Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

Published in: Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2010; 162 (2): 416-428

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of 50 GHz microwave electromagnetic fields on the reproductive system of male rats.
Background/further details: 12 rats were divided into one exposure group (6 animals) and one sham exposure group.
The investigated parameters "histone kinase" and "cell cycle" are correlated to each other.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 GHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h/day on 45 days
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 50 GHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h/day on 45 days
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two rats in a 31 cm x 9.2 cm x 8.5 cm Plexiglas cage, cage placed in an exposure chamber lined with radar absorbing material, horn antenna place beside the long side of the cage
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 0.86 µW/cm² - measured - -
SAR 0.8 mW/kg - calculated whole body -
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed that prolonged exposure to the 50 GHz electromagnetic field may decrease the enzyme activities of histone kinase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. On the other hand, the enzyme activity of catalase and the amount of cells in apoptosis phase were increased in the exposed group. Moreover, it was confirmed that a decrease in cells in G2 phase-M phase (mitosis phase) is directly related to histone kinase enzyme activity. The authors suggest that a reduction or an increase in enzyme activities of antioxidants and histone kinase, and the levels in cell cycle observed under these experimental conditions may be related to an overproduction of reactive oxygen species under microwave exposure.
The authors conclude that these irradiations may have a significant effect on the reproductive system of male rats, which may be an indication of male infertility.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India

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