Orendáčová J, Orendáč M, Mojžiš M, Labun J, Martončíková M, Saganová K, Lievajová K, Blaško J, Abdiová H, Gálik J, Račeková E. Effects of short-duration electromagnetic radiation on early postnatal neurogenesis in rats: Fos and NADPH-d histochemical studies. Acta Histochemica. Early Online, 2010.

Brain development is very sensitive to environmental exposures and there is a growing public concern about the influence of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on the brain development in the early years.  Brains cells can initiate different responses to stress factors and one common response is to initiate cell death.  Certain proteins are indicators of cell death and this group investigated the response of brain cells to EMF exposure in young rats.

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EMF on brain cells in young rats (7 and 28 days old) and investigate whether indicators of cell death are activated.

Three separate groups of rats were used in the study.  The first group of rats was exposed to a pulse-wave of EMF at 2.45 GHz for 2 hours 7 days after birth.  The second group was exposed to a pulse-wave of EMF at 2.45 GHz for 2 hours 28 days after birth.  The third group was considered the control group and were left unexposed.  Rats that were irradiated were submitted to post-irradiation survival and then sacrificed.  Brain sections were sliced and subjected to staining and detection procedures and then qualitatively evaluated for different biomarkers.

The researchers found that the cell death pathway had been initiated after radiation exposure and that certain cell types were formed earlier than normal in the stressed mice.

Interpretation and Limitations
The authors propose that early stressful events alter the normal steps associated with brain and neuron development.  This study also indicates that the cell death pathway could be initiated and this would also hinder proper brain development.  This study only investigated one time point and did not look at cell death directly therefore it was difficult to decide whether the events seen were associated with cell death at a later time point or recovery. 

This study suggests that exposure to high doses of EMF is associated with changes in brain cells development of young rats and that the cell death is initiated. 

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