Application of 1H-NMR-based metabolomics for detecting injury induced by long-term microwave exposure in Wistar rats' urine

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 Jul;404(1):69-78. doi: 10.1007/s00216-012-6115-3. Epub 2012 Jun 17.


There has been growing public concern regarding exposure to microwave fields as a potential human health hazard. This study aimed to identify sensitive biochemical indexes for the detection of injury induced by microwave exposure. Male Wistar rats were exposed to microwaves for 6 min per day, 5 days per week over a period of 1 month at an average power density of 5 mW/cm(2) (specific absorption rate of 2.1 W/kg). Urine specimens were collected over 24 h in metabolic cages at 7 days, 21 days, 2 months, and 6 months after exposure. (1)H NMR spectroscopy data were analyzed using multivariate statistical techniques. Urine metabolic profiles of rats after long-term microwave exposure were significantly differentiated from those of sham-treated controls using principal component analysis or partial least squares discriminant analysis. Significant differences in low molecular weight metabolites (acetate, succinate, citrate, ketoglutarate, glucose, taurine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and hippurate) were identified in the 5 mW/cm(2) microwave exposure group compared with the sham-treated controls at 7 days, 21 days, and 2 months. Metabolites returned to normal levels by 6 months after exposure. These data indicated that these metabolites were related to the perturbations of energy metabolism particularly in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and the metabolism of amino acids, monoamines, and choline in urine represent potential indexes for the detection of injury induced by long-term microwave exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors
  • Urine / chemistry*