Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of 900 MHz radiofrequency on corticosterone, emotional memory and neuroinflammation in middle-aged rats med./bio.

Published in: Exp Gerontol 2012; 47 (6): 444-451

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To assess glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels in the brain of six week-old and twelve month-old rats, after exposure to GSM 900 MHz. Also interleukin expression and plasma levels of corticosterone and the emotional memory were examined.

Background/further details

For both ages rats were randomly assigned to either an exposure group or a sham exposure group (n=8-9 per group). On the first day of the experiment the rats were subjected to a fear conditioning training. After 48 hours they were exposed to an GSM signal for 15 minutes and tested for the sound memory. After additional 48 hours, contextual memory was tested and immediately followed by sacrifice.
Additionally, twelve control groups (n=6 per group) with six week-old rats were assigned which were sacrificed 30 minutes, 5 hours or 24 hours following (a) daily handling (cage control), (b) a single, 15 minutes, 6 W/kg exposure, (c) a single, 15 minutes sham exposure or (d) a 15 minutes sham exposure followed by a fear conditioning session.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 15 min

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 15 min
Modulation type pulsed
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup animal placed in a Plexiglas rocket capped with a truncated cone; rocket body lined with air holes; loop antenna fixed to the rocket's cap
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg - - - -

Reference articles

  • Dubreuil D et al. (2002): Does head-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks?

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Acute GSM 900 MHz exposure did not alter the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein in the brain of rats.
An increase in IL-1ß in the olfactory bulb in exposed 12 month-old rats was found in comparison to 6 week-old rats and sham exposed ones. Additionally, an increased corticosterone level in 6 week-old exposed rats and an enhanced emotional memory in 12 month-old exposed rats was found in comparison to sham exposed rats.
The authors concluded that the data showed an age-dependent response to GSM exposure in neuro-immunity, stress and behavioural parameters.

Study character:

Study funded by

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