Influence of electromagnetic fields on reproductive system of male rats

Int J Radiat Biol. 2013 Mar;89(3):147-54. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2013.741282. Epub 2012 Nov 13.


Abstract Purpose: Reports of declining male fertility have renewed interest in the role of environmental and occupational exposures in the etiology of human infertility. The aim of the present work was to investigate the effect of 10 GHz exposure on the male Wistar rat's reproductive system and to find out the possible causative factors.

Materials and methods: The study was divided into sham-exposed and exposed groups. Seventy day-old rats were exposed to 10 GHz microwave radiation for 2 h per day for 45 days at power density 0.21 mW/cm(2) and specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.014 W/kg. After the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected for the estimation of in vivo chromosomal aberration damage and micronucleus test. Spermatozoa were taken out for estimation of Caspase-3, comet assay, testosterone and electron microscopy and compared with sham-exposed.

Results: The study of scanning electron microscopic revealed shrinkage of the lumen of the seminiferous tubules. Apoptotic bodies were found in exposed group. A flow cytometry examination showed formation of micronuclei body in lymphocytes of exposed group. Comet assay confirmed DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand break. Testosterone level was found significantly decreased with the shrinkage of testicular size.

Conclusions: 10 GHz field has an injurious effect on fertility potential of male-exposed animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Breaks
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / blood
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Male
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Organ Size
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seminiferous Tubules / pathology
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Testosterone
  • Casp3 protein, rat
  • Caspase 3