Electromagnetic pulse is a special kind of electromagnetic irradiation that is produced as short high voltage pulses and used extensively in the medical applications and security screening and military applications. The unusual properties of electromagnetic pulses have raised concerns about potential bioeffects and health hazards to human. Therefore, this study examined the possibly damaging factors of electromagnetic pulses on the morphology of testis and sperms, endocrine changes and the metabolism in male rats.
Rats were divided into three groups: 1.) sham exposure, 2.) exposure with 3*105 pulses and 3.) exposure with 4*105 pulses. Every group consisted at of least eight rats. After 24, 48, 72 h or 1 week, rats were sacrificed and blood samples, sperm samples and testis were collected for analyses. The experiments were repeated thrice.
|Distance between exposed object and exposure source
|500 cm long conical GTEM cell; rat placed in a 20 cm long polyethylene exposure holder with a diameter of 6.4 cm; holder positioned in the GTEM cell parallel with the magnetic vector at 225 cm from the EMF source
|A sham exposure was conducted.
Acrosome reaction was significantly decreased after 24 and 48 h of exposure and abnormalities in the ultrastructure (chromatin accumulation, dilation and vacuolation of the endoplasmic reticulum) occured especially after 24 h exposure. The sperm number and sperm motility, as well as deformity and micronucleus rate did not significantly differ between the exposed and the control group.
The level of malondialdehyde increased 6 h after exposure, while the activity of the superoxide dismutase decreased after 24 h compared to the control group. Accordingly, the gene expression of the manganese superoxide dismutase was significantly decreased in the exposed group compared to the control group after 24 h.
Serum levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone fluctuated over time in the exposure groups, while the levels in the control groups remained constant. Serum level of follicle stimulating hormone did not change in neither of the groups.
The authors summarize that morphological damage in rat's testis, as well as endocrine and metabolic dysfunctions in rats could be induced through electromagnetic pulses.