Aim: To determine whether whole of gestation exposure of fetal mouse brain to mobile telephone radiofrequency fields produces a stress response detectable by induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs).
Methods: Using a purpose-designed exposure system at 900 MHz, pregnant mice were given a single, far-field, whole body exposure at a specific absorption rate of 4 W/kg for 60 min/day from day 1 to day 19 of gestation. Control mice were sham-exposed or freely mobile in a cage to control for any stress caused by restraint in the exposure module. Immediately prior to parturition on day 19, fetal brains were collected, fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde and paraffin-embedded. Three coronal sections encompassing a wide range of anatomical regions were cut from each brain and any stress response detected by immunostaining for HSP25, 32 and 70.
Results: There was no induction of HSP32 or 70 in any brains, while HSP25 expression was limited to two brainstem nuclei and occurred consistently in exposed and non-exposed brains.
Conclusion: Whole of gestation exposure of fetal mouse brains to mobile phone radiofrequency fields did not produce any stress response using HSPs as an immunohistochemical marker.