Increasing cell phone use calls for clarification of the consequences of long term exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). We investigated the effects of EMF on the testes of 12-week-old rats as well as possible protective effects of luteolin on testis tissue. Twenty-four Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, EMF, luteolin, and EMF + luteolin. The number of Leydig cells, primary spermatocytes and spermatids were reduced in the EMF group compared to the control group. In the EMF + luteolin group, the number of Leydig cells, primary spermatocytes and spermatids was significantly greater than the EMF group. We found an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the EMF group compared to the control group. In the EMF group, we found decreased wet weight of testes and serum testosterone levels compared to the control group. Decreased SOD enzyme activity, and increased serum testosterone levels and weight of the testes were observed in the EMF + luteolin group compared to the EMF group. EMF also affected sperm morphology. We found that in rat testis repeated exposure to 900 MHz EMF caused changes in testicular tissue and that the antioxidant, luteolin, substantially reduced the deleterious effects of EMF.
Keywords: Electromagnetic field; immunohistochemistry; luteolin; rat; superoxide dismutase; testis; testosterone.