Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Cytokines produced by microwave-radiated Sertoli cells interfere with spermatogenesis in rat testis med./bio.

Published in: Andrologia 2012; 44: 590-599

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine the synthesis of cytokines in microwave exposed Sertoli cells of rats and to investigate the effect of a co-incubation of microwave exposed Sertoli cells with germ cells on apoptosis and oxidative stress in germ cells.

Background/further details

Spermatogenesis is the process of male germ cell development from the primordial germ cells to the mature sperm cell. This process can be disturbed by several factors. In this study, molecular mechanisms potentially influencing the spermatogenesis should be examined.
Sertoli cells were isolated from 3-week-old male rats and exposed to microwaves or sham exposed. Afterwards, the synthesis of cytokines was determined. Additionally, the exposed/sham exposed Sertoli cells were re-suspended with trypsin and co-incubated with germ cells (isolated from 8-week-old male rats) in a cell culture. After 24 hours of incubation, the germ cells were collected for further analysis (apoptosis, oxidative stress).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 0 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for up to 24 hours

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 0 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for up to 24 hours
Additional info S Band microwaves
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 100 mW/cm² mean - - -

Reference articles

  • Zuo HY et al. (2009): [Effects of electromagnetic radiation on RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway in rats hippocampus]

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Sertoli cells: The gene expression of the tumor necrosis factor-alpha was significantly increased after 2 hours of exposure compared to the sham exposure, while the gene expression of interleukin-1beta and interleukin-6 was significantly increased after 2 and 6 hours of exposure. In the culture medium, the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta and interleukin-6 were significantly increased after 24 hours of exposure in comparison to sham exposed cell cultures.
Germ cells: In the culture medium of germ cells which were co-incubated with exposed Sertoli cells, lipid peroxidation was significantly increased compared to germ cells co-incubated with sham exposed Sertoli cells. Additionally, co-incubation of germ cells with exposed Sertoli cells, led to a significantly increased apoptosis rate in germ cells in comparison to germ cells co-incubated with sham exposed Sertoli cells.
The authors suggest that exposure of rat Sertoli cells could have increased the synthesis of cytokines and that these cytokines could have an influence on the spermatogenesis in rats.

Study character:

Study funded by

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