Grigoriev YG, Grigoriev OA, Ivanov AA, Lyaginskaya AM, Merkulov AV, Shagina NB, Maltsev VN, Lévêque P, Ulanova AM, Osipov VA, Shafirkin AV. Confirmation studies of Soviet research on immunological effects of microwaves: Russian immunology results. Bioelectromagnetics. Sep 20, 2010. Ahead of print.
Earlier studies suggested that semichronic exposure at 5W/m2 evoked a pronounced autoimmune response compared to sham-exposed animals. Other studies reported differences in immune responses between sham-exposed and radiofrequency field (RF)-exposed rats immediately after the exposure.
Earlier Soviet studies conducted between 1974 and 1991 were used, in part, for developing exposure standards for the USSR population. The studies showed immunological and reproductive effects of long-term low-level exposure of rats to RF electromagnetic fields. It was necessary to confirm the Russian findings; therefore, this paper presents the results of a replication study performed to investigate those earlier studies.
Three groups of rats were formed, each consisting of 16 males: (1) RF-exposed group included rats that were exposed to low-intensity RF in an anechoic chamber, (2) Sham exposed group included rats that were treated in the same way as (1) but were not RF-exposed, and (3) cage control group included rats that were kept in the animal room. The exposure system and conditions were made as similar as possible to those in the original studies. Rats were exposed in the far-field to an elliptically polarized 2,450MHz continuous wave RF field from above the ring at an incident power density of 5W/m2 at the cage location for 7 h/day, 5 days/week for a total of 30 days of exposure. The complement fixation test (CFT) was conducted to evaluate the ability of antibodies (mainly IgM subclass) in blood to react with antigens in brain and liver extracts. In addition to the CFT, the ELISA test was used to evaluate immunological responses induced by RF exposure via analysis of the level of antibodies reacting with selected antigens.
A notable increase in the level of antibodies against brain antigens was seen in the sham- and RF-exposed groups of rats on day 14 after termination of the 30-day RF exposure. The ELISA test supported the views on the occurrence of intracellular oxidative stress reactions from RF exposure, showing possible development of pathological processes if an unfavorable influence remains.
The results of the current immunology study using the CFT and ELISA tests partly confirmed the results of the Soviet research groups on the possible induction of autoimmune responses (formation of antibodies to brain tissues) and stress reactions from RF exposure.