This study aims to investigate the effects of pre- and postnatal 2450 MHz continuous wave (CW) radiofrequency radiation (RFR) on the thymus of rats spanning four generations. Four groups; sham, irradiated female, irradiated male, irradiated male and female, each consisting of four rats (one male and three females), were created. During the experiment, rats in the exposure groups were whole-body exposed to 2450 MHz CW-RFR for 12 h/day. Irradiation started one month before the fertilization in the experimental group. When the offspring were two months old, four rats, one male and three female, were allocated for the second-generation study. The remaining offspring were sacrificed under general anesthesia, and their thymuses were removed. The same procedure was applied to the next generation. Two months after the second generation gave birth, third-generation rats were decapitated, and their thymuses were removed. In all groups, cortex, medulla and resident cells could be clearly distinguished in the second and third generations. No differences were observed between the control and two experimental groups, defined as irradiated female and irradiated male. In contrast, vascularization was observed in the thymus of the fourth-generation offspring of the group where both males and females were irradiated. The number of offspring and mass of all rats decreased in the third-generation group. Pre-and postnatal 2450 MHz continuous wave radiofrequency radiation exposure may potentially affect the thymus of future generations.
Keywords: 2450 MHz RF; continuous wave; four generations; pre-and postnatal exposure; thymus.