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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

An Experimental Study of the Effects of Combined Exposure to Microwave and Heat on Gene Expression and Sperm Parameters in Mice.

Published in: J Hum Reprod Sci 2017; 10 (2): 128-134

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the effects of exposure to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field alone or combined with heat on gene expression and sperm parameters in mice.
Background/further details: The study intended to simulate the conditions some workers in Iran are exposed to (electromagnetic fields and sultry, hot climate).
Twelve male mice were randomly assigned to four groups (n=3, respectively): 1) control group, 2) electromagnetic field exposure, 3) heat (60°C) and 4) electromagnetic field exposure + heat.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: 8 hours/day for 5 days/week (not stated how many weeks)
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration 8 hours/day for 5 days/week (not stated how many weeks)
Modulation
Modulation type cf. additional info
Additional info 200 kHz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber plexi-glass chamber (50 x 50 x 50 cm3), in which mice were allowed to move freely
Setup microwave signal generator was used to generate microwaves, exposure chamber was surrounded by pyramid-shaped polyurethane walls to prevent reflection; heating was done by an electric heater and humidity (50%) was controlled by spraying water into the room
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 6 W - - - -
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The number of Leydig cells was significantly reduced in all exposure groups (groups 2-4) compared to the control group (group 1). Further histological differences were found between the exposure groups (e.g. scarcely sperms in the ductus deferens in group 2) and the control groups, however it is not clear if these differences are significant.
In all exposure groups (groups 2-4), the number of sperm cells with normal morphology was significantly decreased compared to the control group. Additionally, in heat exposed mice (group 3) were the sperm motility, the sperm viability, and the mean sperm count significantly reduced compared to the control group.
The gene expression of Bax was significantly increased in mice exposed to heat compared to the control group while for Bcl2 gene expression, the level was significantly decreased in mice exposed to electromagnetic fields and heat (group 4).
The authors conclude that exposure to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field alone or combined with heat as well as heat alone may have adverse effects on sperm parameters and gene expression in mice.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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