Purpose: MicroRNAs (miRNA) play a paramount role in growth, differentiation, proliferation and cell death by suppressing one or more target genes. However, their interaction with radiofrequencies is still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted from a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) system on some of the miRNA in brain tissue.
Materials and methods: The study was carried out on 16 Wistar Albino adult male rats by dividing them into two groups such as sham (n = 8) and exposure (n = 8). Rats in the exposure group were exposed to 2.4 GHz radiofrequency (RF) radiation for 24 hours a day for 12 months (one year). The same procedure was applied to the rats in the sham group except the Wi-Fi system was turned off. Immediately after the last exposure, rats were sacrificed and their brains were removed. miR-9-5p, miR-29a-3p, miR-106b-5p, miR-107, miR-125a-3p in brain were investigated in detail.
Results: The results revealed that long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radiation can alter expression of some of the miRNAs such as miR-106b-5p (adj p* = 0.010) and miR-107 (adj p* = 0.005). We observed that mir 107 expression is 3.3 times and miR- 106b-5p expression is 3.65 times lower in the exposure group than in the control group. However, miR-9-5p, miR-29a-3p and miR-125a-3p levels in brain were not altered.
Conclusion: Long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz RF may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases originated from the alteration of some miRNA expression and more studies should be devoted to the effects of RF radiation on miRNA expression levels.
Keywords: 2.4 GHz radiofrequency; Wi-Fi; diseases; electromagnetic fields; miRNA in brain.