Impact of Long-Term RF-EMF on Oxidative Stress and Neuroinflammation in Aging Brains of C57BL/6 Mice

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jul 19;19(7):2103. doi: 10.3390/ijms19072103.


The expansion of mobile phone use has raised questions regarding the possible biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure on oxidative stress and brain inflammation. Despite accumulative exposure of humans to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) from mobile phones, their long-term effects on oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the aging brain have not been studied. In the present study, middle-aged C57BL/6 mice (aged 14 months) were exposed to 1950 MHz electromagnetic fields for 8 months (specific absorption rate (SAR) 5 W/kg, 2 h/day, 5 d/week). Compared with those in the young group, levels of protein (3-nitro-tyrosine) and lipid (4-hydroxy-2-nonenal) oxidative damage markers were significantly increased in the brains of aged mice. In addition, levels of markers for DNA damage (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, p53, p21, γH2AX, and Bax), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1)), astrocyte (GFAP), and microglia (Iba-1) were significantly elevated in the brains of aged mice. However, long-term RF-EMF exposure did not change the levels of oxidative stress, DNA damage, apoptosis, astrocyte, or microglia markers in the aged mouse brains. Moreover, long-term RF-EMF exposure did not alter locomotor activity in aged mice. Therefore, these findings indicate that long-term exposure to RF-EMF did not influence age-induced oxidative stress or neuroinflammation in C57BL/6 mice.

Keywords: DNA damage; RF-EMF; aged brain; neuroinflammation; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Motor Activity
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Radio Waves*


  • Aif1 protein, mouse
  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Caspase 3