Extended work has been performed worldwide on the effects of mobile phone radiation upon rats' cognitive functions, however there is great controversy to the existence or not of deficits. The present work has been designed in order to test the effects of mobile phone radiation on spatial learning and memory in mice Mus musculus Balb/c using the Morris water maze (a hippocampal-dependent spatial memory task), since there is just one other study on mice with very low SAR level (0.05W/kg) showing no effects. We have applied a 2h daily dose of pulsed GSM 900MHz radiation from commercially available mobile phone for 4 days at SAR values ranging from 0.41 to 0.98W/kg. Statistical analysis revealed that during learning, exposed animals showed a deficit in transferring the acquired spatial information across training days (increased escape latency and distance swam, compared to the sham-exposed animals, on the first trial of training days 2-4). Moreover, during the memory probe-trial sham-exposed animals showed the expected preference for the target quadrant, while the exposed animals showed no preference, indicating that the exposed mice had deficits in consolidation and/or retrieval of the learned spatial information. Our results provide a basis for more thorough investigations considering reports on non-thermal effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
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