Ragbetli, M. C.; Aydinlioglu, A.; Koyun, N.; Ragbetli, C., and Karayel, M. Effect of prenatal exposure to mobile phone on pyramidal cell numbers in the mouse hippocampus: a stereological study. Int J Neurosci. 2009; 119(7):1031-41.
Because of the use of mobile phones by pregnant women, RF fields may have impact on developing brains of their offspring. The authors selected a mouse as an experimental model for their study because mouse brain development is similar to that of human brain.
The study was aimed at investigating the effects of exposure to RF from a mobile phone on the developing hippocampus. The studied parameter was the number of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus.
Male and female Swiss albino mice were used in this experiment. The animals were divided into 2 groups: a mobile phone exposed and a control group. After the mating day, the first-group pregnant mice were exposed to a mobile phone with an external antenna (890-915 MHz GSM, SAR=1.2 W/kg). The phone was in a standby mode for 1 hour 45 min and in a talking mode for 15 min for a total of 12 hours a day. The exposure continued during the gestation period with average of 19-20 days. Female offspring were exposed to the procedure and fed for 20 days. The control group was kept in the same conditions but was not exposed to the GSM signal. At the 21st day, five randomly selected female offspring from each group were sacrificed. Pyramidal cells in the hippocampus were counted by the optical fractionator method. Comparison of the data between the two groups was made by applying the independent samples t-test.
No significant difference in the number of hippocampal pyramidal cells was observed between the exposed and the control group (p>0.05).
Interpretation and conclusion
To the authors’ knowledge, theirs was the only study on pyramidal cell number in animals exposed to GSM prenatally. Other investigators observed some functional and structural changes in the hippocampus and hippocampal neurons. The authors conclude that, in view of the widespread use of mobile phones and relatively high exposures to the developing brain, further studies in this field are required.