This paper presents the results of a replication study performed to investigate earlier Soviet studies conducted between 1974 and 1991 that showed immunological and reproductive effects of long-term low-level exposure of rats to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields. The early studies were used, in part, for developing exposure standards for the USSR population and thus it was necessary to confirm the Russian findings. In the present study, the conditions of RF exposure were made as similar as possible to those in the earlier experiments: Wistar rats were exposed in the far field to 2450 MHz continuous wave RF fields with an incident power density in the cages of 5 W/m² for 7 h/day, 5 days/week for a total of 30 days, resulting in a whole-body SAR of 0.16 W/kg. Effects of the exposure on immunological parameters in the brain and liver of rats were evaluated using the complement fixation test (CFT), as in the original studies, and an additional test, the more modern ELISA test. Our results, using CFT and ELISA, partly confirmed the findings of the early studies and indicated possible effects from non-thermal RF exposure on autoimmune processes. The RF exposure resulted in minor increases in formation of antibodies in brain tissue extract and the exposure did not appear to be pathological. In addition, a study was conducted to replicate a previous Soviet study on effects from the injection of blood serum from RF-exposed rats on pregnancy and foetal and offspring development of rats, using a similar animal model and protocol. Our results showed the same general trends as the earlier study, suggesting possible adverse effects of the blood serum from exposed rats on pregnancy and foetal development of intact rats, however, application of these results in developing exposure standards is limited.
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