Effects of 1800-MHz radiofrequency fields on circadian rhythm of plasma melatonin and testosterone in male rats

J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2012;75(18):1120-8. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2012.699846.


Radiofrequency fields (RF) at 1800 MHz are known to affect melatonin (MEL) and testosterone in male rats, but it remains to be determined whether RF affected circadian rhythm of these plasma hormones. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 1800-MHz RF at 208 μw/cm² power density (SAR: 0.5762 W/kg) at different zeitgeber (ZT) periods of the day, including 0 (ZT0), 4 (ZT4), 8 (ZT8), 12 (ZT12), 16 (ZT16), and 20 (ZT20) h. RF exposure was 2 h/d for 32 d. From each rat, the concentrations of plasma MEL and testosterone were determined in plasma after RF exposure and compared with controls. The results confirmed the existence of circadian rhythms in the synthesis of MEL and testosterone, but revealed an inverse relationship in peak phase of these rhythms. These rhythms were disturbed after exposure to RF, with the effect being more pronounced on MEL than testosterone. The most pronounced effect of RF exposure on MEL and testosterone appears to be in rats exposed to RF at ZT 16 and ZT0 h, respectively. Data suggest that regulation of testosterone is controlled by MEL and that MEL is more sensitive to RF exposure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / radiation effects*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Melatonin / blood*
  • Melatonin / metabolism
  • Pineal Gland / metabolism
  • Pineal Gland / radiation effects
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / radiation effects
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Testosterone / metabolism
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / adverse effects*


  • Testosterone
  • Melatonin