Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Rat testicular impairment induced by electromagnetic radiation from a conventional cellular telephone and the protective effects of the antioxidants vitamins C and E.

Published in: Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2012; 67 (7): 785-792

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the possible effects of exposure from a cellular phone on the oxidant and antioxidant status in blood and testis of rats and to determine the possible protective role of vitamin C and vitamin E.
Background/further details: Six groups were examined: 1.) sham exposure (n=10), 2.) sham exposure + vitamin C (n=10), 3.) sham exposure + vitamin E (n=10), 4.) exposure (n=30), 5.) exposure + vitamin C (n=30) and 6.) exposure + vitamin E (n=30). Animals were exposed for 15, 30 or 60 minutes per day (10 animals, respectively).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900–1,900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 15, 30 or 60 min/day during 14 days
General information
Animals were divided into the following six groups: i) sham exposure ii) sham exposure + daily treatment with 40 mg/kg vitamin C iii) sham exposure + daily treatment with 2.7 mg/kg vitamin E iv) EMF exposure v) EMF exposure + daily treatment with 40 mg/kg vitamin C vi) EMF exposure + daily treatment with 2.7 mg/kg vitamin E
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900–1,900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 15, 30 or 60 min/day during 14 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 50 cm
Setup rats placed in Plexiglas cages with drilled ventilation holes that were attached to a mobile phone hand set
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W peak value - - -
power density 0.02 mW/cm² average over time - - -
SAR 0.9 W/kg - - - -
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In the histopathological examination, the testis of sham exposed rats showed normal seminiferous tubules, spermatids and spermatogenic cells. However, the testis of exposed rats showed significant degenerative changes: An increased diameter of the seminiferous tubules, a decreased mean height of the germinal epithelium, a reduction of the spermatid number, big nuclei (karyomegaly), a high incidence of mitotic divisions and pyknosis of some spermatogonial nuclei. An administration of vitamin C or E caused a significant decrease of the exposure induced effects.
In all exposure groups, in the blood serum and in the testis, the amount of glutathione and the enzyme activity of the glutathione peroxidase were significantly decreased (stronger decrease with increasing exposure duration) compared with the control group, whereas the levels of the lipid peroxidation and the enzyme activity of the catalase were significantly increased (stronger increase with increasing exposure duration). An administration of vitamin C or vitamin E blocked the exposure induced effects (Remark EMF-Portal: results taken from table, partially contradictory results in running text).
The author concludes that exposure to an electromagnetic field could have a negative effect on testicular function through the induction of oxidative stress. The results also indicate a protective effect of vitamin C and vitamin E.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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