Effect of the prenatal electromagnetic field exposure on cochlear nucleus neurons and oligodendrocytes in rats

TÜMKAYA L. , Bas O., MERCANTEPE T. , Cinar S., Ozgur A. , YAZICI Z. A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-021-18325-1
  • Keywords: Cochlear nucleus, Electromagnetic field, Prenatal, Postnatal, Rat, 900 MHZ, BRAIN-STEM, HISTOGENESIS, MELATONIN, MOUSE


Electromagnetic radiation from elecromagnetic field (EMF) sources has been an important health concern for a long time. The vast majority of this exposure is due to the widespread use of mobile phones, an important source of the EMF. The EMF generated by mobile phones may have adverse effects on the various biological structures that regulate the body system and function. In this study, it was aimed to evaluate histopathologically the effects of 900-megahertz (MHz) EMF application in the prenatal period on the development of the ventral cochlear nucleus, which is the first place of hearing in the brainstem, at various time points of the postnatal period in rats. In the study, Sprague-Dawley pregnant rats were divided randomly into two groups as the control group and the EMF group. The rats in the EMF group were exposed to a 900-MHz EMF every day until birth, while no EMF was applied to the rats in the control group. Auditory brainstem responses of both groups were recorded on the postnatal 13th day, the day the hearing starts. Newborn rats were sacrificed by anesthesia on days 7, 10, 15, and 30. Contrary to the control group, structural damage in cochlear nuclear neurons and oligodendrocyte cell structures and increased caspase-3 activity were observed in the postnatal period in the EMF groups. However, no significant difference was observed between the groups in terms of structural damage and caspase-3 activity at different stages of the postnatal period when cochlear nucleus development was observed. According to ABS, there was no significant difference between the average latency of waves in both groups. In conclusion, this study shows that 900-MHz electromagnetic waves propagated from mobile phones during the prenatal period have no harmful effects on the development of the ventral cochlear nucleus of rats.