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The authors hypothesize that exposure to electromagnetic fields early in life of rat pups will lead to abnormal brain development impacting negatively on their behaviour during adulthood. They subsequently performed behavioural, histological and biochemical tests on exposed and unexposed rats to determine the effects of electromagnetic fields on learning and memory, emotional states and corticosterone levels.
Rat pups and their dams were exposed to electromagnetic fields for 3 h per day from postnatal day 2 to postnatal day 14. On postnatal day 22 rat pups were divided into six males und six females per group. Behavioural assessments started on postnatal day 58. On postnatal day 62 the rats were sacrificed for the collection of plasma and brain tissue.
|ばく露時間||continuous for 3 hr/day from day 2 to day 14 after birth|
|ばく露装置の詳細||antenna placed 0.9 m from the cage in a height of 2.5 m above ground; antenna directed to the side of the cage; cage equipped with plastic covering lid for exposure|
|Sham exposure||A sham exposure was conducted.|
Morphological analysis of the hippocampal granular and pyramidal cells and of the cortical region revealed that the cells were intact and that there were no significant differences in neuron structure between control and exposed brains.
Although there were no significant differences in corticosterone levels between the groups, a trend was noted for exposed female rats to higher corticosterone levels compared to unexposed female controls.
The data showed that electromagnetic field exposure may cause behavioural changes as evidenced by a decrease in locomotor activity, increased grooming and freezing behaviour in exposed male rats. These a!terations in behaviour have been associated with animal models of stress-related disorders and therefore suggest that electromagnetic field exposure may be an environmental risk factor in the development of behavioural abnormalities. The authors recognise that the obtained evidence is limited, and that further investigations are required.