Effect of WiFi signal exposure in utero and early life on neurodevelopment and behaviors of rats

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Sep;30(42):95892-95900. doi: 10.1007/s11356-023-29159-4. Epub 2023 Aug 10.


The aim of this study is to examine the long-term effects of prenatal and early-life WIFI signal exposure on neurodevelopment and behaviors as well as biochemical alterations of Wistar rats. On the first day of pregnancy (E0), expectant rats were allocated into two groups: the control group (n = 12) and the WiFi-exposed group (WiFi group, n = 12). WiFi group was exposed to turn on WiFi for 24 h/day from E0 to postnatal day (PND) 42. The control group was exposed to turn-off WiFi at the same time. On PND7-42, we evaluated the development and behavior of the offspring, including body weight, pain threshold, and swimming ability, spatial learning, and memory among others. Also, levels of proteins involved in apoptosis were analyzed histologically in the hippocampus in response to oxidative stress. The results showed that WiFi signal exposure in utero and early life (1) increased the body weight of WiFi + M (WiFi + male) group; (2) no change in neuro-behavioral development was observed in WiFi group; (3) increased learning and memory function in WiFi + M group; (4) enhanced comparative levels of BDNF and p-CREB proteins in the hippocampus of WiFi + M group; (5) no neuronal loss or degeneration was detected, and neuronal numbers in hippocampal CA1 were no evidently differences in each group; (6) no change in the apoptosis-related proteins (caspase-3 and Bax) levels; and (7) no difference in GSH-PX and SOD activities in the hippocampus. Prenatal WiFi exposure has no effects on hippocampal CA1 neurons, oxidative equilibrium in brain, and neurodevelopment of rats. Some effects of prenatal WiFi exposure are sex dependent. Prenatal WiFi exposure increased the body weight, improved the spatial memory and learning function, and induced behavioral hyperactivity of male rats.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Hippocampal cell; Neurodevelopment; Oxidative stress; WiFi signal.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar