The effects of chronic and repeated radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RFEMR) exposure on spatial cognition and hippocampal architecture were investigated in prepubescent rats. Four weeks old male Wistar rats were exposed to RF-EMR (900 MHz; SAR-1.15 W/kg with peak power density of 146.60 μW/cm2) for 1 h/day, for 28 days. Followed by this, spatial cognition was evaluated by Morris water maze test. To evaluate the hippocampal morphology; H&E staining, cresyl violet staining, and Golgi-Cox staining were performed on hippocampal sections. CA3 pyramidal neuron morphology and surviving neuron count (in CA3 region) were studied using H&E and cresyl violet stained sections. Dendritic arborization pattern of CA3 pyramidal neuron was investigated by concentric circle method. Progressive learning abilities were found to be decreased in RF-EMR exposed rats. Memory retention test performed 24 h after the last training revealed minor spatial memory deficit in RF-EMR exposed group. However, RF-EMR exposed rats exhibited poor spatial memory retention when tested 48 h after the final trial. Hirano bodies and Granulovacuolar bodies were absent in the CA3 pyramidal neurons of different groups studied. Nevertheless, RF-EMR exposure affected the viable cell count in dorsal hippocampal CA3 region. RF-EMR exposure influenced dendritic arborization pattern of both apical and basal dendritic trees in RF-EMR exposed rats. Structural changes found in the hippocampus of RF-EMR exposed rats could be one of the possible reasons for altered cognition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience