Purpose: During the last three decades, the number of devices that emit non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at the wireless communication spectrum has rapidly increased and possible effects on living organisms have become a major concern. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of radiofrequency EMR emitted by a widely used wireless communication device, namely the Digital Enhanced Communication Telephony (DECT) base, on the immune responses of the Aegean wall lizard (Podarcis erhardii).
Materials and methods: Adult male lizards were exposed 24 h/day for 8 weeks to 1880-1900 MHz DECT base radiation at average electric field intensity of 3.2 V/m. Immune reactivity was assessed using the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin swelling and mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) tests.
Results: Our results revealed a noticeable suppression (approximately 45%) of inflammatory responses in EMR-exposed lizards compared to sham-exposed animals. T cell-mediated responses were marginally affected.
Conclusion: Daily radiofrequency EMR exposure seems to affect, at least partially, the immunocompetence of the Aegean wall lizard.
Keywords: Non-ionizing radiation; immunology; inflammation; reptiles; skin.