Introduction. The interaction of mobile phone radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) with the brain is a serious concern of our society. Objective. We evaluated the effect of RF-EMR from mobile phones on passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal morphology in rats. Materials and methods. Healthy male albino Wistar rats were exposed to RF-EMR by giving 50 missed calls (within 1 hour) per day for 4 weeks, keeping a GSM (0.9 GHz/1.8 GHz) mobile phone in vibratory mode (no ring tone) in the cage. After the experimental period, passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal morphology were studied. Results. Passive avoidance behaviour was significantly affected in mobile phone RF-EMR-exposed rats demonstrated as shorter entrance latency to the dark compartment when compared to the control rats. Marked morphological changes were also observed in the CA3 region of the hippocampus of the mobile phone-exposed rats in comparison to the control rats. Conclusion. Mobile phone RF-EMR exposure significantly altered the passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal morphology in rats.
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