Effect of acute extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure on the antioxidant status and lipid levels in rat brain

Arch Med Res. 2012 Apr;43(3):183-9. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 3.


Background and aims: It is generally accepted that electromagnetic fields (EMF) can exert biological effects; however, the mechanisms by which EMF elicits responses are still unknown. The present study was designed to assess the immediate effects of acute EMF exposure, movement restriction, and the combination of both on the antioxidant systems and lipid content in the whole brain of rat.

Methods: Thirty two male Wistar rats were arranged in four groups: control, EMF exposed, movement restrained (MR), and EMF + MR for 2 h. Rats were then sacrificed and their brains analyzed for superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, reduced glutathione, nitric oxide, total cholesterol, and triacylglycerol levels, as well as plasma corticosterone concentrations.

Results: Acute exposure to EMF induces reduction in catalase and superoxide dismutase activities, whereas the combination of EMF + MR also decreases both reduced glutathione and nitric oxide levels. Our results show that the acute exposure to EMF does not induce elevation of stress-hormone corticosterone but impairs the antioxidant status in rat brain.

Conclusions: Plasma corticosterone concentration and antioxidant data indicate that the acute exposure to EMF appears to be a mild stressor that leads to some adaptive responses due to the activation of systems controlling the brain oxidative balance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / radiation effects
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Lipid Metabolism / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants