Effects of 2600 MHz Radiofrequency Radiation in Brain Tissue of Male Wistar Rats and Neuroprotective Effects of Melatonin

Bioelectromagnetics. 2021 Feb;42(2):159-172. doi: 10.1002/bem.22318. Epub 2021 Jan 13.


The debate on the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) still continues due to differences in the design of studies (frequency, power density, specific absorption rate [SAR], exposure duration, cell, tissue, or animal type). The current study aimed to investigate the effects of 2,600 MHz RFR and melatonin on brain tissue biochemistry and histology of male rats. Thirty-six rats were divided into six groups randomly: cage-control, sham, RFR, melatonin, sham melatonin, and RFR melatonin. In RFR groups, animals were exposed to 2,600 MHz RFR for 30 days (30 min/day, 5 days/week) and the melatonin group animals were subcutaneously injected with melatonin (7 days/week, 10 mg/kg/day) for 30 days. SAR in brain gray matter was calculated as 0.44 and 0.295 W/kg for 1 and 10 g averaging, respectively. RFR exposure decreased the GSH, GSH-Px, and SOD levels and increased the MPO, MDA, and NOx levels (P < 0.005) significantly. RFR exposure also led to an increase in structural deformation and apoptosis in the brain tissue. This study revealed that exogenous high-dose melatonin could reduce these adverse effects of RFR. Limiting RFR exposure as much as possible is recommended, and taking daily melatonin supplements may be beneficial. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2021 Bioelectromagnetics Society.

Keywords: apoptosis; brain tissue; melatonin; oxidative stress; radiofrequency radiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Melatonin / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Melatonin