Effect of chronic intermittent exposure to AM radiofrequency field on responses to various types of noxious stimuli in growing rats

Electromagn Biol Med. 2008;27(3):266-76. doi: 10.1080/15368370802304155.


There are several reports of altered pain sensation after exposure (from a few minutes to hours in single or repeated doses for 2-3 weeks) to electromagnetic fields (EMF) in adults. The commonly utilized noxious stimulus is radiant heat. The nociceptive responses are known to be influenced by characteristics of stimulus, organism, and environment. We studied the pattern of nociceptive responses to various noxious stimuli in growing rats exposed to radiofrequency field (73.5 MHz amplitude modulated, 16 Hz power density 1.33 mw/cm(2), SAR = 0.4 w/kg) for 45 d (2 h/d). Threshold current for stimulation of nociceptive afferents to mediate motor response of tail (TF), vocalization during stimulus (VD), and vocalization after discharge (VA); the withdrawal latency of tail (TFL) and hind paw (HPL) to thermal noxious stimulus and tonic pain responses were recorded in every rat. The TFL was not affected, HPL was decreased (p < 0.01), and the thresholds of TF and VD were not affected, while, that of VA was significantly decreased. The tonic pain rating was decreased (p < 0.01). A decrease in the threshold of VA (p < 0.01) is indicative of an increase in the emotional component of the response to the phasic pain, whereas a decrease in the pain rating indicates analgesia in response to the tonic pain. The results of our study suggest that chronic (45 d), intermittent (2 h/d) amplitude modulated RF field exposure to the peripubertal rat increases the emotional component of phasic pain over a basal eaualgesic state, while late response to tonic pain is decreased. The data suggest that amplitude modulated RF field differentially affects the mechanisms involved in the processing of various noxious stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Foot / physiology
  • Foot / radiation effects
  • Hindlimb / physiology
  • Hindlimb / radiation effects
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Male
  • Nociceptors / physiology*
  • Nociceptors / radiation effects*
  • Noxae / adverse effects
  • Pain Threshold / radiation effects
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Tail / physiology
  • Tail / radiation effects
  • Time Factors
  • Vocalization, Animal / radiation effects


  • Noxae