Changes in the histopathology and in the proteins related to the MAPK pathway in the brains of rats exposed to pre and postnatal radiofrequency radiation over four generations

J Chem Neuroanat. 2022 Dec:126:102187. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2022.102187. Epub 2022 Oct 29.


The development of new technologies and industry increases the number and variety of electromagnetic field (EMF) sources. Researcher are increasingly interested in the effects of EMF on brain health. The brain's function is largely dependent on electrical excitability, so it would be expected to be vulnerable to EMF. We therefore investigated the effects of brain development in the fetus, histopathological changes in female rats and the hippocampal level of MAPK proteins in male rats after exposed to pre and postnatal 2450 MHz continuous wave (CW) radiofrequency radiation (RFR) over four generations. Four groups; sham, irradiated female, irradiated male, irradiated male and female, with each consisting of four rats (one male and three females) were created. Rats in the exposure groups were whole-body exposed to 2450 MHz CW-RFR for 12 h/day during the experiment. Irradiation started one month before fertilization in the experimental group. On the 18th day of the gestational period, one pregnant rat from each group was decapitated under general anesthesia and the fetuses were taken. The remaining two pregnant rats completed the normal gestation period. When the offspring were two months old, four rats, one male and three female, were allocated for the second generation study. Next generation animals were also experienced the same processes as the first generation rats. This study were evaluated development of brain in fetuses and histopathological changes in brain of female rats using haematoxylin eosin staining, and the hippocampal level of MAPK proteins in brain of male rats by Western Bloting. We observed hemorrhagic areas, irregular cellular localization and vascular structures in the brain of fetal and adult female rat of exposed groups in the all generations. pERK, ptau, pJNK and pP38 were increased in the brain of adult male rat of exposed groups in the all generations (p < 0.005). Pre and postnatal 2450 MHz continuous wave radiofrequency radiation exposure may cause changes in the function of the MAPK pathway affecting cognitive processes such as learning and memory and may cause damage to both the fetus and adult brain tissue. Also, EMF may have potential to affect brain of future generations.

Keywords: 2450 MHz RF; Brain; Continuous wave; ERK1/2; MAPK; Pre and postnatal exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Radio Waves* / adverse effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley