Salama N, Kishimoto T, Kanayama HO, Kagawa S. (2009). The mobile phone decreases fructose but not citrate in rabbit semen: a longitudinal study. Syst Biol Reprod Med. 55(5):181-187.

Fructose and citrate are important components of semen facilitating sperm motility. The effect of exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile phones on the level of these 2 substances in semen has not been studied.

The objective of the study was to examine the effect of a mobile phone in standby position on the level of fructose and citrate in semen and its correlation with sperm motility.

A total of 30 adult male rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups: 1) the phone group (n=11) was placed in specially designed cages and exposed to 900 MHz radiation (SAR=0.43 W/kg) from a mobile phone in standby mode for 12 weeks for 8 hours daily; 2) the sham or stress control group (n=11) was placed in cages of the same type but not exposed to radiofrequency radiation; 3) the control group (n=8) placed in the conventional cages. Semen fructose and citrate, sperm mobility and viability, and serum testosterone were measured.

No changes in the mean rectal temperature after exposure to radiofrequency radiation were recorded. After 10 weeks, a significant decline in the level of fructose compared to the baseline level (257±11.6 mg% vs 489 ±8.4 mg%) was observed in the phone group, but not in the other 2 groups. After 10 weeks, the level of sperm motility dropped in the phone group and (to a lesser extent) in the stress control group. There was no significant correlation between the decline in fructose level and total sperm motility or forward progression. There were no significant changes in the level of citrate, sperm viability and serum testosterone level throughout the study in either group. No remarkable histological changes in the accessory glands were detected at light microscopy.

Interpretation and Conclusion

The study results suggest that exposure to radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones affects the level of fructose, but not the level of citrate in rabbit semen. These findings may provide further explanation for the decline in sperm motility observed after mobile phone exposure.

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