Postnatal development and behavior effects of in-utero exposure of rats to radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional WiFi devices

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;52:239-247. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.04.016. Epub 2017 Apr 22.


The present work investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to radiofrequency waves of conventional WiFi devices on postnatal development and behavior of rat offspring. Ten Wistar albino pregnant rats were randomly assigned to two groups (n=5). The experimental group was exposed to a 2.45GHz WiFi signal for 2h a day throughout gestation period. Control females were subjected to the same conditions as treated group without applying WiFi radiations. After delivery, the offspring was tested for physical and neurodevelopment during its 17 postnatal days (PND), then for anxiety (PND 28) and motricity (PND 40-43), as well as for cerebral oxidative stress response and cholinesterase activity in brain and serum (PND 28 and 43). Our main results showed that the in-utero WiFi exposure impaired offspring neurodevelopment during the first seventeen postnatal days without altering emotional and motor behavior at adult age. Besides, prenatal WiFi exposure induced cerebral oxidative stress imbalance (increase in malondialdehyde level (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels and decrease in catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities) at 28 but not 43days old, also the exposure affected acethylcolinesterase activity at both cerebral and seric levels. Thus, the current study revealed that maternal exposure to WiFi radiofrequencies led to various adverse neurological effects in the offspring by affecting neurodevelopment, cerebral stress equilibrium and cholinesterase activity.

Keywords: Behavior; Offspring; Oxidative stress response; Postnatal development; Radiofrequency.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reflex / radiation effects
  • Rotarod Performance Test
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Vibrissae / physiology
  • Vibrissae / radiation effects


  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Cholinesterases