Wireless mobile phones and other telecommunication devices are used extensively in daily life. We therefore examined the effects of combined exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on rat testicular function, specifically with respect to sensitive processes such as spermatogenesis. Male rats were exposed to single code division multiple access (CDMA) and wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) RF signals for 12 weeks. The RF exposure schedule comprised 45 min/day, 5 days/week for a total of 12 weeks. The whole-body average specific absorption rate (SAR) of CDMA and WCDMA was 2.0 W/kg each or 4.0 W/kg in total. We then investigated the correlates of testicular function such as sperm count in the cauda epididymis, testosterone concentration in the blood serum, malondialdehyde concentrations in the testes and epididymis, frequency of spermatogenesis stages, and appearance of apoptotic cells in the testes. We also immunoblotted for p53, bcl2, GADD45, cyclin G, and HSP70 in the testes of sham- and combined RF-exposed animals. Based on the results, we concluded that simultaneous exposure to CDMA and WCDMA RF-EMFs at 4.0 W/kg SAR did not have any observable adverse effects on rat spermatogenesis.
Keywords: CDMA; WCDMA; combined RF exposure; rat spermatogenesis.
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