Age-dependent effect of long-term microwave radiation on postnatal neurogenesis in rats: morphological and behavioral study

Physiol Res. 2018 Jul 17;67(3):495-503. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.933752. Epub 2018 Mar 12.


Processes of adult neurogenesis can be influenced by environmental factors. Here, we investigated the effect of microwave radiation (MWR) on proliferation and cell dying in the rat rostral migratory stream (RMS) - a migration route for the neuroblasts of the subventricular zone. Adult and juvenile (two weeks old) rats were exposed to a pulsed-wave MWR at the frequency of 2.45 GHz for 1 or 3 h daily during 3 weeks. Adult rats were divided into two groups: without survival and with two weeks survival after irradiation. Juvenile rats survived till adulthood, when were tested in the light/dark test. Proliferating cells in the RMS were labeled by Ki-67; dying cells were visualized by Fluoro-Jade C histochemistry. In both groups of rats irradiated as adults we have observed significant decrease of the number of dividing cells within the RMS. Exposure of juvenile rats to MWR induced only slight decrease in proliferation, however, it strikingly affected cell death even two months following irradiation. In addition, these rats displayed locomotor hyperactivity and decreased risk assessment in adulthood. Our results suggest that the long-lasting influence of radiation is manifested by affected cell survival and changes in animals´ behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / radiation effects
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Neurogenesis / radiation effects*
  • Rats, Wistar