Can prenatal exposure to a 900 MHz electromagnetic field affect the morphology of the spleen and thymus, and alter biomarkers of oxidative damage in 21-day-old male rats?

Biotech Histochem. 2015;90(7):535-43. doi: 10.3109/10520295.2015.1042051. Epub 2015 May 19.


We investigated the effects of a 900 Megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF), applied during the prenatal period, on the spleen and thymus of 21-day-old male rat pups. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and EMF groups. We applied 900 MHz EMF for 1 h/day to the EMF group of pregnant rats. Newborn male rat pups were removed from their mothers and sacrificed on postnatal day 21. Spleen and thymus tissues were excised and examined. Compared to the control group, thymus tissue malondialdehyde levels were significantly higher in the group exposed to EMF, while glutathione levels were significantly decreased. Increased malondialdehyde and glutathione levels were observed in splenic tissue of rats exposed to EMF, while a significant decrease occurred in superoxide dismutase values compared to controls. Transmission electron microscopy showed pathological changes in cell morphology in the thymic and splenic tissues of newborn rats exposed to EMF. Exposure to 900 MHz EMF during the prenatal period can cause pathological and biochemical changes that may compromise the development of the male rat thymus and spleen.

Keywords: electromagnetic field; electron microscopy; male; rat; spleen; thymus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / pathology*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spleen / pathology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / pathology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione