Effects of prenatal 900 MHz electromagnetic field exposures on the histology of rat kidney

Int J Radiat Biol. 2015 Jan;91(1):35-41. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2014.950436.


Purpose: To research the harmful effects of prenatal exposure of 900 megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) on kidneys of four-week-old male rats and to determine protective effects of melatonin (MEL) and omega-3 (ω-3).

Materials and methods: Twenty-one Wistar albino rats were randomly placed into seven groups as follows: Control (Cont), Sham, MEL, ω-3, EMF, EMF+ MEL and EMF+ω-3. After mating, three groups (EMF, EMF+ MEL, EMF+ ω-3) were exposed to an EMF. In the fourth week subsequent to parturition, six rats were randomly chosen from each group. Mean volume of kidneys and renal cortices, the total number of glomeruli and basic histological structure of kidney were evaluated by stereological and light microscopical methods, respectively.

Results: Stereological results determined the mean volume of the kidneys and cortices were significantly increased in EMF-exposed groups compared to the Cont group. However, EMF-unexposed groups were not significantly modified compared to the Cont group. Additionally, the total number of glomeruli was significantly higher in EMF-unexposed groups compared to the Cont group. Alternatively, the number of glomeruli in EMF-exposed groups was decreased compared to the Cont group.

Conclusions: Prenatal exposure of rat kidneys to 900 MHz EMF resulted in increased total kidney volume and decreased the numbers of glomeruli. Moreover, MEL and ω-3 prevented adverse effects of EMF on the kidneys.

Keywords: EMF-exposure; histopathology; kidney development; rat; stereology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney / radiation effects*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Organ Size / radiation effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar