Maternal mobile phone exposure adversely affects the electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons in rat offspring

Neuroscience. 2013 Oct 10:250:588-98. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.07.049. Epub 2013 Jul 29.


Electromagnetic field (EMF) radiations emitted from mobile phones may cause structural damage to neurons. With the increased usage of mobile phones worldwide, concerns about their possible effects on the nervous system are rising. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the possible effects of prenatal EMF exposure on the cerebellum of offspring Wistar rats. Rats in the EMF group were exposed to 900-MHz pulse-EMF irradiation for 6h per day during all gestation period. Ten offspring per each group were evaluated for behavioral and electrophysiological evaluations. Cerebellum-related behavioral dysfunctions were analyzed using motor learning and cerebellum-dependent functional tasks (Accelerated Rotarod, Hanging and Open field tests). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were used for electrophysiological evaluations. The results of the present study failed to show any behavioral abnormalities in rats exposed to chronic EMF radiation. However, whole-cell patch clamp recordings revealed decreased neuronal excitability of Purkinje cells in rats exposed to EMF. The most prominent changes included afterhyperpolarization amplitude, spike frequency, half width and first spike latency. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that prenatal EMF exposure results in altered electrophysiological properties of Purkinje neurons. However, these changes may not be severe enough to alter the cerebellum-dependent functional tasks.

Keywords: ACSF; EMF; Purkinje cells; TDM; artificial cerebrospinal fluid; electromagnetic field; mobile phone exposure; neural excitability; offspring; pregnancy; total distance moved.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Body Temperature / radiation effects
  • Body Weight / radiation effects
  • Cell Phone*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / radiation effects*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / radiation effects
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Purkinje Cells / radiation effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar