Tomruk A, Guler G, Dincel AS. The Influence of 1800 MHz GSM-like Signals on Hepatic Oxidative DNA and Lipid Damage in Nonpregnant, Pregnant, and Newly born Rabbits. Cell Biochem Biophys. Oct 23, 2009. Ahead of print.
The International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) set guidelines to protect workers and general public from possible adverse health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. The general public includes vulnerable individuals (pregnant women, children) for whom no particular restrictions have been developed.
The study was aimed at detecting possible health effects of whole-body exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in the liver of non-pregnant, pregnant and newborn rabbits.
Non-pregnant and pregnant New Zealand White rabbits were randomly assigned to one of the 4 groups (9 animals each): group I- non-pregnant control (sham-exposed); group II – non-pregnant RF exposed; group III – pregnant control (sham-exposed); group IV – pregnant RF-exposed. Whole-body exposure to 1800 MHz GSM-like signal was conducted for 15 minutes per day for 7 days (between the 15th and 22nd day of gestation for the pregnant rabbits). Newborns were also divided into 2 groups (9 animals each): group V – newborns of group III; and group VI – newborns of group IV. Malondialdehyde (MDA, TBARS assay), lipid peroxidation (ferrous oxidation in xylenol orange-FOX assay) and DNA damage (8-OHdG assay) were evaluated in the liver tissues.
MDA levels in the exposed non-pregnant (II) and the exposed pregnant (IV) groups were significantly higher than in the control non-pregnant group (I). However, there was no significant difference in MDA levels between the exposed pregnant (IV) and the control pregnant (III) animals. Significantly increased FOX levels were observed in the exposed non-pregnant (II) and the exposed pregnant (IV) groups compared to the control non-pregnant group (I), and there was no significant difference between the exposed pregnant (IV) and the control pregnant group (III). There were no significant differences in the levels of 8-OHdG/106 dG between the exposed groups (non-pregnant and pregnant) and their respective controls. There was no difference in the levels of 8-OHdG/106 dG or MDA between the newborns of exposed (VI) and the newborns of unexposed (V) rabbits. FOX levels were significantly lower in the newborns of exposed (VI) compared to the newborns of unexposed (V) animals.
Interpretation and Conclusion
Exposure to 1800 MHz GSM-like RF radiation resulted in an increase in the markers of oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation; these changes did not appear to give rise to the oxidative DNA base modification in the liver tissue of pregnant and non-pregnant rabbits. Intrauterine exposure to RF radiation did not have an effect on the levels of hepatic lipid peroxidation and DNA base modification. The results of this study are also in agreement with the knowledge that oxidative stress is higher during pregnancy than in the non-pregnant state.