Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Prenatal exposure to radiofrequencies: Effects of WiFi signals on thymocyte development and peripheral T cell compartment in an animal model. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2012; 33 (8): 652-661

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of prenatal (in utero) exposure in mice to WiFi signals on development and function of immune cells.

Background/further details

The development of the immune system begins during embryogenesis, continues through fetal life, and is followed by a postnatal maturation period lasting several weeks in mice. All these phases are highly susceptible to the action of several noxious agents.
Pregnant mice were divided into three groups (n=16 per group): 1.) cage control, 2.) sham exposed and 3.) exposed. Exposure started five days after mating and ended one day before the expected delivery. The offspring was examined at the age of 5 weeks and 26 weeks. At every time point, one male and one female pup from each dam were sacrificed to perform immunological analyses.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 2,451–2,473 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h/day on 14 consecutive days (starting 5 days after mating, ending 1 day before expected delivery)
  • SAR: 4 W/kg average over mass (whole body)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 2,451–2,473 MHz
Type
Waveform
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h/day on 14 consecutive days (starting 5 days after mating, ending 1 day before expected delivery)
Additional info single channel WiFi transmission; central frequency 2462 MHz
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse type rectangular
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber mice restrained in transparent cylindrical polymethyl-methacrylate jigs with the posterior part on the side of the field origin and maintained with the caudal axis parallel to the direction of field propagation
Setup two identical 120 cm long TEM cells; signal generated by commercial WiFi access point connected to a notebook via LAN and communicating with a PC using single channel transmission with channel 11; signal directly taken from the access point; daily clockwise rotation of the eight pregnant mice inside each of the two TEM cells used; temperature regulated; mice positioned at the two areas of maximum E-field (4 mice/area), two above and two under each of the two septums
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 4 W/kg average over mass measured and calculated whole body -

Reference articles

  • Pinto R et al. (2010): Dosimetry of a set-up for the exposure of newborn mice to 2.45-GHZ WiFi frequencies.
  • Ardoino L et al. (2005): A radio-frequency system for in vivo pilot experiments aimed at the studies on biological effects of electromagnetic fields.
  • Gatta L et al. (2003): Effects of in vivo exposure to GSM-modulated 900 MHz radiation on mouse peripheral lymphocytes.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

No effects due to exposure to WiFi signals during pregnancy on mating success, number of newborns per dam and body weight of offspring at birth were found.
The results showed no exposure-related effects on the number and proliferation as well as on the cell differentiation in the thymus and the spleen at both time points. Observed differences were due to age and/or gender.
In summary, these results do not support the hypothesis that in utero-exposure to a WiFi signal has detrimental effects on the development of immune cells in mice.

Study character:

Study funded by

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