eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 6

Basic research
The effects of prenatal and neonatal exposure to electromagnetic fields on infant rat myocardium

Hamid Tayefi
Amac Kiray
Muge Kiray
Bekir Ugur Ergur
Husnu Alper Bagriyanik
Cetin Pekcetin
Mustafa Fidan
Candan Ozogul

Arch Med Sci 2010; 6, 6: 837-842
Online publish date: 2010/12/29
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Introduction: Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have adverse effects as a result of widespread use of electromagnetic energy on biological systems. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of prenatal exposure to EMF on rat myocardium by biochemical and histopathological evaluations.

Material and methods: In this study, 10 pregnant Wistar rats were used. Half of the pregnant rats were exposed to EMF of 3 mT, and the other half to sham conditions during gestation. After parturition, rat pups in the 5 EMF-exposed litters from birth until postnatal day 20 were exposed to EMF of 3 mT for 4 h/day (EMF-exposed group, n = 30). Rat pups in sham litters from birth until postnatal day 20 were exposed to sham conditions (sham group, n = 20).

Results: In the EMF-exposed group, lipid peroxidation levels significantly increased compared to sham. Superoxide dismutase activities decreased significantly in the EMF-exposed group compared to sham. TUNEL staining showed that the number of TUNEL-positive cells increased significantly in EMF-exposed rats compared with sham. Under electron microscopy, there were mitochondrial degeneration, reduction in myofibrils, dilated sarcoplasmic reticulum and perinuclear vacuolization in EMF-exposed rats.

Conclusions: In conclusion, the results show that prenatal exposure to EMF causes oxidative stress, apoptosis and morphological pathology in myocardium of rat pups. The results of our study indicate a probable role of free radicals in the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to EMF. Further studies are needed to demonstrate whether the EMF exposure can induce adverse effects on the myocardium.

electromagnetic field, myocardium, oxidative stress, apoptosis, ultrastructure

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