Effect of a chronic GSM 900 MHz exposure on glia in the rat brain

Biomed Pharmacother. 2008 Apr-May;62(4):273-81. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Extension of the mobile phone technology raises concern about the health effects of 900 MHz microwaves on the central nervous system (CNS). In this study we measured GFAP expression using immunocytochemistry method, to evaluate glial evolution 10 days after a chronic exposure (5 days a week for 24 weeks) to GSM signal for 45 min/day at a brain-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR)=1.5 W/kg and for 15 min/day at a SAR=6 W/kg in the following rat brain areas: prefrontal cortex (PfCx), caudate putamen (Cpu), lateral globus pallidus of striatum (LGP), dentate gyrus of hippocampus (DG) and cerebellum cortex (CCx). In comparison to sham or cage control animals, rats exposed to chronic GSM signal at 6 W/kg have increased GFAP stained surface areas in the brain (p<0.05). But the chronic exposure to GSM at 1.5 W/kg did not increase GFAP expression. Our results indicated that chronic exposure to GSM 900 MHz microwaves (SAR=6 W/kg) may induce persistent astroglia activation in the rat brain (sign of a potential gliosis).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Neuroglia / chemistry
  • Neuroglia / radiation effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein