Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Neurobehavioural Changes and Brain Oxidative Stress Induced by Acute Exposure to GSM900 Mobile Phone Radiations in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). med./bio.

Published in: Toxicol Res 2016; 32 (2): 123-132

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effects of exposure of zebrafish to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field (GSM) on the behavior and oxidative stress in the brain and the influence of melatonin should be investigated.

Background/further details

Zebrafish were divided into 3 groups (n=40 each): 1) exposure to the electromagnetic field, 2) co-exposure to the electromagnetic field and melatonin (100 nM) and 3) control group.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: for 1 hour/day for 14 days
  • SAR: 1.34 W/kg

General information

the melatonin co-exposure group (group 2) was exposed to 100 nM melatonin in 1 l of water daily for 1 hour prior to exposure to the mobile phone

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration for 1 hour/day for 14 days
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1.2 cm
Chamber glass petri dish 3/4th filled with home tank water
Setup two rooms were used; one room was equipped with a music system and a mobile phone for calling, the other was equipped with the called mobile phone and the fish; a piece of paper was placed above the petri dish with n=5 zebrafish and mobile handset was kept above the paper; during exposure, music was played continuously over the line; other electronic devices that could potentially emit radio frequency fields were not kept in the exposure room during the exposure period
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info the control group was exposed to the same protocol and conditions i.e. kept in beaker containing water devoid of melatonin and placed in petri dish but not exposed to mobile phone fields (remark EMF-Portal: hence, they were probably also not exposed to the music).
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 1.34 W/kg - - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

All paramaters investigated in the study were significantly different in the exposure group (group 1) compared to the control group (group 3):
In the social interaction test, the time spent near the social stimulus zone was decreased and the total distance travelled was increased, indicating a change in social behavior. In the tank dive test, exposed fish showed anxiety as revealed by increases in the time spent in the tank's bottom half and in the number and duration of freezing bouts as well as by decreases in the distance travelled, velocity and number of entries to upper half of the tank. Exposed fish spent less time in the novel arm of the Y-Maze, indicating impaired learning.
In the brain, the enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were decreased while the levels of reduced glutathione and lipid peroxidation were increased, showing compromised antioxidant defense.
A treatment with melatonin (group 2) significantly reversed all above mentioned effects induced by exposure (except for the distance travelled in the social interaction test).
The authors conclude that exposure of zebrafish to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field (GSM) might change the behavior and increase the oxidative stress in the brain and that melatonin might attenuate these effects.

Study character:

Study funded by

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