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Free Radicals, Lipid Peroxidation and Immune Response in Experimental Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

Surcel, Didi*; Dabala, Dana; Szanto, Csaba*; Miclaus, Simona; Botoc, Mariana*; Hriscu, Monica*

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362411.88300.99
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

*Institute of public Health, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; †Department of Occupational Medicine, Transport Regional Public Health Center, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; and ‡Land Forces Academy, Sibiu, Romania.


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Although the physical techniques for measuring electromagnetic fields (EMF) are well developed, adequate characterization of the biological effects induced by EMF is still subject to discussion. Data from recent experiments suggests that EMF is associated with the iron-mediated free radical generation, that can cause damage in biologic molecules. The aim of this study was to show the effects of chronic exposure to EMF on the oxidative and immune response.

In vivo experiment was carried out on Wistar rats, divided in to 4 groups as follows: 1. Control-group, without exposure, sacrificed at 1 month; 2. Control-group, without exposure sacrificed at 6 months; 3. EMF-exposed group, sacrificed at 1 month; 4. EMF – exposed group, sacrificed at 6 months. The rats were exposed to EMF that covered a range of frequencies between 160–170 MHz, with S = 8 W/m2, for 2 hours/ day, 1 month and 6 months.

The following parameters were assessed: a) 3HTdR incorporation test, b) IL-1 assay, c) TNF-assay, d) Chemiluminiscence assay, and e) Lipid peroxides.

The 3HTdR incorporation was decreased in the EMF- exposed groups, as compared with control groups, but with statistically significant difference (ssd) only in the third group. Increased values of the cytokines (IL-1 and TNF) were found in the groups 3 and 4, but with ssd only in group 4. Chemiluminescence assay and lipid peroxides were increased in groups 3 and 4, but ssd were found only in the fourth group. In the forth group, an important suppression of the immune response and increased activity of the cytokines was demonstrated.

Our results indicate an association between EMF and immune and oxidative response and suggest these reactions could have a key role as a mechanism leading to irreversible injury in EMF prolonged exposure.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.