The effect of mobile phone on the number of Purkinje cells: a stereological study

Int J Radiat Biol. 2010 Jul;86(7):548-54. doi: 10.3109/09553001003734527.


Purpose: The World Health Organisation proposed an investigation concerning the exposure of animals to radiofrequency fields because of the possible risk factor for health. At power frequencies there is evidence to associate both childhood leukaemia and brain tumours with magnetic field exposures. There is also evidence of the effect of mobile phone exposure on both cognitive functions and the cerebellum. Purkinje cells of the cerebellum are also sensitive to high dose microwave exposure in rats. The present study investigated the effect of exposure to mobile phone on the number of Purkinje and granule neurons in the developing cerebellum.

Material and methods: Male and female Swiss albino mice were housed as control and mobile phone-exposed groups. Pregnant animals in the experimental group were exposed to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) mobile phone radiation at 890-915 MHz at 0.95 W/Kg specific absorption rate (SAR). The cerebella were processed by frozen microtome. The sections obtained were stained with Haematoxylin-eosin and cresyl violet. For cell counting by the optical fractionator method, a pilot study was firstly performed. Cerebellar areas were analysed by using Axiovision software running on a personal computer. The optical dissectors were systematically spaced at random, and focused to the widest profile of the neuron cell nucleus.

Results: A significant decrease in the number of Purkinje cells and a tendency for granule cells to increase in cerebellum was found.

Conclusion: Further studies in this area are needed due to the popular use of mobile telephones and relatively high exposure on developing brain.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Fractionation
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebellum / embryology
  • Cerebellum / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology*
  • Purkinje Cells / radiation effects*
  • Time Factors