Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the effects of leakage microwave (2450 MHz) irradiation on thyroid hormones and behavior of male rats.
Materials and methods: Experiments were carried out on two groups of male rats (exposure and control, respectively). Radio-immuno assay (RIA) methods were used for estimation of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and thyrotrophin or thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The assessments of behavioral changes were performed in Open-Field (OF) and Elevated Plus-Maze (EPM) apparatuses.
Results: Following chronic microwave exposure, rats were found hyperactive and aggressive on the 16th and 21st days. Behavioral changes in OF were analyzed and found to be significantly changed from controls (p < 0.05) for immobilization, rearing and ambulation behavior. In EPM, rats showed increased activity with decreased time spent in the open arm and more time spent in the center on the 11th (p < 0.05), 16th (p < 0.05) and 21st day (p < 0.01) after irradiation. Changes in behavioral parameters are also correlated with the trend of changes, compared to control animals, in hormonal blood levels of T3 (decreased on the 16th day, p < 0.05 and 21st day, p < 0.01) and T4 (increased on the 21st day, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Low energy microwave irradiation may be harmful as it is sufficient to alter the levels of thyroid hormones as well as the emotional reactivity of the irradiated compared to control animals.