Circadian alterations of reproductive functional markers in male rats exposed to 1800 MHz radiofrequency field

Chronobiol Int. 2014 Feb;31(1):123-33. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2013.830622. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


In this study, we explored the circadian effects of daily radiofrequency field (RF) exposure on reproductive functional markers in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals in circadian rhythm (as indicated by melatonin measurements), were divided into several groups and exposed to 1800 MHz RF at 205 μw/cm(2) power density (specific absorption rate 0.0405 W/kg) for 2 h/day for 32 days at different zeitgeber time (ZT) points, namely, ZT0, ZT4, ZT8, ZT12, ZT16 and ZT20. Sham-exposed animals were used as controls in the study. From each rat, testicular and epididymis tissues were collected and assessed for testosterone levels, daily sperm production and sperm motility, testis marker enzymes γ-GT and ACP, cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (p450cc) mRNA expression, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) mRNA expression. Via these measurements, we confirmed the existence of circadian rhythms in sham-exposed animals. However, rats exposed to RF exhibited a disruption of circadian rhythms, decreased testosterone levels, lower daily sperm production and sperm motility, down-regulated activity of γ-GT and ACP, as well as altered mRNA expression of cytochrome P450 and StAR. All of these observations were more pronounced when rats were exposed to RF at ZT0. Thus, our findings indicate potential adverse effects of RF exposure on male reproductive functional markers, in terms of both the daily overall levels as well as the circadian rhythmicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm / radiation effects*
  • Epididymis / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Melatonin / biosynthesis
  • Radio Waves
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sperm Motility / radiation effects
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects
  • Testis / radiation effects
  • Testosterone / biosynthesis
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Testosterone
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Melatonin