Spatial memory and learning performance and its relationship to protein synthesis of Swiss albino mice exposed to 10 GHz microwaves

Int J Radiat Biol. 2014 Jan;90(1):29-35. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2013.835883. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Purpose: To study the possible role of microwave (MW) exposure on spatial memory of Swiss albino mice and its relationship to protein concentration in whole brain.

Materials and methods: Mice were exposed to 10 GHz (Giga Hertz) microwaves with the power density of 0.25 mW/cm(2) (milliwatt per centimeter square) with average whole body specific absorption rate (SAR) 0.1790 W/kg daily for 2 hours per day (h/day) for 30 days. After exposure mice were tested for spatial memory performance using Morris water maze test (MWT). For this purpose mice (6-8 weeks old) were divided into two groups: (i) Sham exposed, and (ii) microwaves exposed. After initial training for two days, MWT was performed for another 6 days. Protein was estimated 48 h after exposure and immediately after completion of MWT.

Results: Both sham-exposed and microwaves-exposed animals showed a significant decrease in escape time with training. Microwaves-exposed animals had statistically significant higher mean latency to reach the target quadrant compared to sham exposed. A concurrent decrease in protein levels was estimated in whole brain of the exposed mice compared to sham-exposed mice.

Conclusions: It can be concluded from the current study that exposure to microwave radiation caused decrements in the ability of mice to learn the special memory task, this may be due to simultaneous decrease in protein levels in the brain of mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Maze Learning / radiation effects*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Memory, Short-Term / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Microwaves*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Space Perception / radiation effects*
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / methods


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins