Aim: To evaluate the effects of global system for mobile communications (GSM) 1800 MHz microwaves on dendritic filopodia, dendritic arborization, and spine maturation during development in cultured hippocampal neurons in rats.
Methods: The cultured hippocampal neurons were exposed to GSM 1800 MHz microwaves with 2.4 and 0.8 W/kg, respectively, for 15 min each day from 6 days in vitro (DIV6) to DIV14. The subtle structures of dendrites were displayed by transfection with farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein (F-GFP) and GFP-actin on DIV5 into the hippocampal neurons.
Results: There was a significant decrease in the density and mobility of dendritic filopodia at DIV8 and in the density of mature spines at DIV14 in the neurons exposed to GSM 1800 MHz microwaves with 2.4 W/kg. In addition, the average length of dendrites per neuron at DIV10 and DIV14 was decreased, while the dendritic arborization was unaltered in these neurons. However, there were no significant changes found in the neurons exposed to the GSM 1800 MHz microwaves with 0.8 W/kg.
Conclusion: These data indicate that the chronic exposure to 2.4 W/kg GSM 1800 MHz microwaves during the early developmental stage may affect dendritic development and the formation of excitatory synapses of hippocampal neurons in culture.