Effects of electromagnetic radiation on spatial memory and synapses in rat hippocampal CA1

Neural Regen Res. 2012 Jun 5;7(16):1248-55. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2012.16.007.


In this study, we investigated the effects of mobile phone radiation on spatial learning, reference memory, and morphology in related brain regions. After the near-field radiation (0.52-1.08 W/kg) was delivered to 8-week-old Wistar rats 2 hours per day for 1 month, behavioral changes were examined using the Morris water maze. Compared with the sham-irradiated rats, the irradiated rats exhibited impaired performance. Morphological changes were investigated by examining synaptic ultrastructural changes in the hippocampus. Using the physical dissector technique, the number of pyramidal neurons, the synaptic profiles, and the length of postsynaptic densities in the CA1 region were quantified stereologically. The morphological changes included mitochondrial degenerations, fewer synapses, and shorter postsynaptic densities in the radiated rats. These findings indicate that mobile phone radiation can significantly impair spatial learning and reference memory and induce morphological changes in the hippocampal CA1 region.

Keywords: Morris water maze; electron microscopy; memory; mobile phone; neural regeneration; postsynaptic density; quantitative analysis; synapse; ultrastructure.