The effect of 1800MHz radio-frequency radiation on NMDA receptor subunit NR1 expression and peroxidation in the rat brain in healthy and inflammatory states

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Aug:92:802-809. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.05.133. Epub 2017 Jun 4.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of repeated exposure (5 times for 15min) of 1800MHz radio-frequency radiation (RFR) on N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit NR1 (NMDA-NR1) expression in the brains of rats in a persistent inflammatory state. We also measured the effect of RFR combined with tramadol (TRAM) to determine the potential antioxidant capacity of this agent.

Methods: The effects of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) modulated 1800MHz RFR exposure on the expression and activity of glutamate receptor channels with antioxidative activity in brain tissue was measured using oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and electron spin resonance (ESR) detection of the hydroxyl radical generated by the Fenton reaction. NMDA-NR1 was measured in the cerebral tissue of rats with inflammation (complete Freund's adjuvent) and those injected with tramadol after RFR exposure (RFR, RFR/TRAM) and in non-exposed (baseline, TRAM) rats.

Results: No differences between the baseline group and the exposed group (RFR) were observed. NMDA-NR1 expression decreased after CFA injection and RFR exposure, and an elevated expression of NMDA-NR1 was observed in healthy control rats of both groups: TRAM/RFR and RFR.

Conclusions: ORAC assessment revealed a robust effect of RFR, however the other experiments revealed equivocal effects. Further studies examining the combination of ORAC with NMDA are warranted to elucidate more clearly the effect of RFR on the brain.

Keywords: Brain; Electron spin resonance (ESR); Fenton reaction; NMDA-NR; ORAC; Radio-frequency radiation (RFR); Rat.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Iron
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism*
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*


  • Fenton's reagent
  • Free Radicals
  • NR1 NMDA receptor
  • Protein Subunits
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron
  • Oxygen