Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Neuroprotective effects of melatonin and omega-3 on hippocampal cells prenatally exposed to 900 MHz electromagnetic fields med./bio.

Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2016; 92 (10): 590-595

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The neurotoxic effects of prenatal exposure of rats to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field on hippocampal cells and the protective effects of melatonin and omega-3 should be investigated.

Background/further details

Pregnant rats were divided into the following groups (n=3 each): 1) exposure to the electromagnetic field, 2) exposure to the electromagnetic field and melatonin injections (50 mg/kg/day), 3) exposure to the electromagnetic field and feeding with omega-3 pellets (10% of food), 4) only melatonin treatment, 5) only omega-3 treatment, 6) sham exposure group, 7) cage control group. After birth, 2 male rats from each mother (total of n=6 per group) were further raised for 28 days without exposure and then investigated.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: 1 hour/day from the 1st to the 21st day of gestation

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration 1 hour/day from the 1st to the 21st day of gestation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • monopole
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1 cm
Chamber restrainer tubes made of 5 mm thick plexi glass; restrainers consisted of a cylinder (6.5 cm diameter, 12 cm length) and a truncated cone (3 cm length) in which the rat's head was inserted
Setup 6 animals were exposed simultaneously (remark EMF-Portal: but there were only 3 animals per group); during exposure, rats were kept in restrainers and heads were placed in the direction of the antenna for local exposure; the antenna was fixed within a 1 cm distance around the rats' heads; holes were made in the restrainer to allow breathing and to minimize body temperature elevation
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info (remark EMF-Portal: groups only treated with melatonin (group 4) or omega-3 (group 5) were probably not sham exposed, i.e., not restrained)
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 1 mW/cm² mean measured - ± 0.4 mW/cm2
SAR 2 W/kg peak value - - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The total number of neurons in the hippocampus was significantly lower in the exposure group (group 1) compared to all other groups, except for group 5 (omega-3 treatment).
The authors conclude that prenatal exposure of rats to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field might have neurotoxic effects in hippocampal cells and that melatonin and omega-3 might have a protective effect in a co-exposure setting.
(remark EMF-Portal: as only the heads of mothers were exposed to the electromagnetic field and no dosimetry was given for the fetuses, the actual prenatal exposure of the offspring is not comprehensible)

Study character:

Study funded by

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