Changes in pyramidal and granular neuron numbers in the rat hippocampus 7 days after exposure to a continuous 900-MHz electromagnetic field during early and mid-adolescence

KeleS A. I., Nyengaard J. R., Odaci E.

JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL NEUROANATOMY, vol.101, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The aim of this study was to investigate qualitative and quantitative changes in pyramidal and granule neurons in the male rat hippocampus after exposure to a continuous 900-megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) for 25 days during early and mid-adolescence. Three-week-old (21 day) healthy Sprague Dawley male rats were divided equally into control (CON), pseudo-exposed (PEX) and EMF groups. EMF rats were exposed to a 900MHz EMF in an EMF-application cage, while the PEX rats were placed in the same cage without being exposed to EMF. No procedure was performed in CON. EMF was applied for 1 h/day, every day for 25 days. Following the 900-MHz EMF and pseudo-exposed applications, behavioral tests were performed for seven days. Then, all animals were euthanized and their brains were removed. Following histological tissue procedures, sections were taken from tissues and stained with toluidine blue. The optical fractionation technique was performed to estimate the pyramidal neuron numbers in the CA1, CA2-3 and hilus regions of the hippocampus and granule neuron numbers in the dentate gyrus region. Our findings indicated that the number of pyramidal and granule neurons in the hippocampus of the EMF group was statistically higher than PEX. Furthermore, the histopathological results showed that the cytoplasm of pyramidal (in the hilus, CA1, CA2 and CA3 region) and granular (in the dentate gyrus region) cells at the hippocampus were disrupted, as evident by intensive staining around cytoplasm and some artifacts were detected in the EMF group. In addition, statistical comparisons of the mean body weights and brain weights of the study groups revealed no significant differences. There was no statistically significant difference between the PEX and EMF groups in terms of temperature (p > 0.05) or humidity (p > 0.05) in the cages. In conclusion, higher numbers of both pyramidal and granule neurons were found in the male rat hippocampus after continuous 900-MHz EMF treatment.