Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure on Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability in Male and Female Rats

Electromagn Biol Med. 2011 Dec;30(4):253-60. doi: 10.3109/15368378.2011.600167.

Abstract

During the last several decades, numerous studies have been performed aiming at the question of whether or not exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) influences the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of RFR on the permeability of BBB in male and female Wistar albino rats. Right brain, left brain, cerebellum, and total brain were analyzed separately in the study. Rats were exposed to 0.9 and 1.8 GHz continuous-wave (CW) RFR for 20 min (at SARs of 4.26 mW/kg and 1.46 mW/kg, respectively) while under anesthesia. Control rats were sham-exposed. Disruption of BBB integrity was detected spectrophotometrically using the Evans-blue dye, which has been used as a BBB tracer and is known to be bound to serum albumin. Right brain, left brain, cerebellum, and total brain were evaluated for BBB permeability. In female rats, no albumin extravasation was found in in the brain after RFR exposure. A significant increase in albumin was found in the brains of the RF-exposed male rats when compared to sham-exposed male brains. These results suggest that exposure to 0.9 and 1.8 GHz CW RFR at levels below the international limits can affect the vascular permeability in the brain of male rats. The possible risk of RFR exposure in humans is a major concern for the society. Thus, this topic should be investigated more thoroughly in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects*
  • Capillary Permeability / radiation effects*
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / radiation effects*
  • Evans Blue / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Spectrophotometry

Substances

  • Serum Albumin
  • Evans Blue