Medical/biological study (experimental study)

The effect of pulsed 900-MHz GSM mobile phone radiation on the acrosome reaction, head morphometry and zona binding of human spermatozoa.

Published in: Int J Androl 2011; 34 (1): 20-26

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The objective of the study was twofold: 1) to investigate the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure on sperm head morphometry and the acrosome response and 2) to evaluate the consequence of exposure on the spermatozoa's zona pellucida-binding capacity.
Background/further details: Semen samples were collected from 12 healthy donors. Spermatozoa were investigated immediately, 2 h and 24 h after exposure.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source/structure
  • not specified
Chamber details exposure chamber placed vertically inside a Forma CO2 incubator
Setup details samples placed in glass Petri dishes in the exposure chamber with the plane of the culture medium parallel to the electric field; temperature-controlled water circulated through a thin rectangular glass-fibre-moulded waterbed underneath the Petri dishes
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg - - -

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The irradiation did not affect the acrosome reaction. The analysis of morphometric parameters revealed a statistically significant reduction in all the morphometric parameters of exposed sperm samples compared with unexposed controls. There was a statistically significant reduction in zona pellucida binding in exposed sperms compared with that in controls.
The authors conclude that although radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure did not adversely affect the acrosome reaction, it had a significant effect on sperm morphometry. In addition, a significant decrease in sperm binding to the hemizona was observed. These results could indicate a significant effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field on sperm fertilization potential.
Study character:
  • medical/biological study
  • experimental study
  • full/main study

Study funded by

  • National Research Foundation (NRF), Pretoria, South Africa
  • South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)

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