Effect of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation on the rats' brain, liver and kidney cells measured by comet assay

Coll Antropol. 2011 Dec;35(4):1259-64.


The goal of study was to evaluate DNA damage in rat's renal, liver and brain cells after in vivo exposure to radiofrequency/microwave (Rf/Mw) radiation of cellular phone frequencies range. To determine DNA damage, a single cell gel electrophoresis/comet assay was used. Wistar rats (male, 12 week old, approximate body weight 350 g) (N = 9) were exposed to the carrier frequency of 915 MHz with Global System Mobile signal modulation (GSM), power density of 2.4 W/m2, whole body average specific absorption rate SAR of 0.6 W/kg. The animals were irradiated for one hour/day, seven days/week during two weeks period. The exposure set-up was Gigahertz Transversal Electromagnetic Mode Cell (GTEM--cell). Sham irradiated controls (N = 9) were apart of the study. The body temperature was measured before and after exposure. There were no differences in temperature in between control and treated animals. Comet assay parameters such as the tail length and tail intensity were evaluated. In comparison with tail length in controls (13.5 +/- 0.7 microm), the tail was slightly elongated in brain cells of irradiated animals (14.0 +/- 0.3 microm). The tail length obtained for liver (14.5 +/- 0.3 microm) and kidney (13.9 +/- 0.5 microm) homogenates notably differs in comparison with matched sham controls (13.6 +/- 0.3 microm) and (12.9 +/- 0.9 microm). Differences in tail intensity between control and exposed animals were not significant. The results of this study suggest that, under the experimental conditions applied, repeated 915 MHz irradiation could be a cause of DNA breaks in renal and liver cells, but not affect the cell genome at the higher extent compared to the basal damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / radiation effects
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Kidney / radiation effects*
  • Liver / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar