Effect of head-only sub-chronic and chronic exposure to 900-MHz GSM electromagnetic fields on spatial memory in rats

Brain Inj. 2008 Dec;22(13-14):1021-9. doi: 10.1080/02699050802530599.


Primary objective: This study was carried out to investigate the behavioural effects of sub-chronic and chronic head-only exposure to 900 MHz GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) in male rats.

Methods: Rats were exposed for 45 minutes per day, at a brain-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) = 1.5 W Kg(-1) or 15 minutes per day at a SAR = 6 W Kg(-1), during 8 or 24 weeks. Then, their spatial memory was tested using the radial-arm maze. In the first phase (10 days), rats were trained to visit the eight arms of the maze without returning to an arm already visited. In the second phase (8 days), a 45-minute intra-trial delay was introduced after four visited arms.

Results: Performance of exposed rats (1.5 or 6 W Kg(-1)) was compared with that of sham, negative control and positive control rats. Scopolamine treatment in the positive control rats induced deficit in spatial memory task in the second phase of the test. However, spatial memory task was unaffected in exposed rats.

Conclusion: Sub-chronic and chronic head-only exposure of rats to GSM 900 MHz signal (45-minutes, SAR = 1.5 or 15-minutes, SAR = 6 W Kg(-1)) did not induce spatial memory deficit in the radial-arm maze.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / radiation effects*
  • Memory / radiation effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors