The immediate effects of whole body electromagnetic radiation (EMR) were used to study postnatal neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and rostral migratory stream (RMS) of Wistar rats of both sexes. Newborn postnatal day 7 (P7) and young adult rats (P28) were exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMF) at a frequency of 2.45 GHz and mean power density of 2.8 mW/cm(2) for 2 h. Post-irradiation changes were studied using immunohistochemical localization of Fos and NADPH-d. We found that short-duration exposure induces increased Fos immunoreactivity selectively in cells of the SVZ of P7 and P28 rats. There were no Fos positive cells visible within the RMS of irradiated rats. These findings indicate that some differences exist in prerequisites of proliferating cells between the SVZ and RMS regardless of the age of the rats. Short-duration exposure also caused praecox maturation of NADPH-d positive cells within the RMS of P7 rats. The NADPH-d positive cells appeared several days earlier than in age-matched controls, and their number and morphology showed characteristics of adult rats. On the other hand, in the young adult P28 rats, EMR induced morphological signs typical of early postnatal age. These findings indicate that EMR causes age-related changes in the production of nitric oxide (NO), which may lead to different courses of the proliferation cascade in newborn and young adult neurogenesis.
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