Pathological Findings Observed in the Kidneys of Postnatal Male Rats Exposed to the 2100 MHz Electromagnetic Field

Arch Med Res. 2018 Oct;49(7):432-440. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2018.12.010. Epub 2018 Dec 29.


Background: The widespread use by young people of modern communication devices such as mobile phones means that they are particularly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and other problems. However, few studies have researched the effects of long-term exposure to EMF in the kidney. We therefore investigated oxidative stress and apoptosis in long-term exposure to 2100 megahertz (MHz) in a rat model.

Materials and methods: Twenty-four Sprague Dawley rats were divided into a control group (n = 8, no EMF exposure), a group exposed to 2100 MHz for 6 h for 30 d (n = 8), and a group exposed to 2100 MHz for12 h for 30 d (n = 8). Immunohistochemical analysis was performed, using caspase-3 to evaluate apoptosis. Immediately after treatment, reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) in kidney tissue and serum levels of various biochemical compounds were measured to detect oxidative stress.

Results: Deterioration was observed in the brush border in renal tubules of the EMF groups. The results of the immunohistochemical analysis revealed a greater number of positively stained renal tubular epithelial cells in the EMF groups as compared with that in the control group. In the EMF groups, renal MDA levels increased, and renal GSH levels decreased compared with those in the control group, as shown by a biochemical examination (p = 0.00 and p = 0.00, respectively).

Conclusion: The findings showed that exposure to 2100 MHz for 6 and 12 h induced oxidative stress-mediated acute renal injury, depending on the length of exposure and dosage.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Caspase-3; Electromagnetic field; Kidney; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Glutathione / analysis
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Malondialdehyde
  • Glutathione