Kesari, K. K.; Kumar, S., and Behari, J. Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Wave Exposure from Cellular Phones on the Reproductive Pattern in Male Wistar Rats. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2011 Jan 15.


Data from some experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) can affect the quality of semen. The authors believe that such alterations could be induced through oxidative stress characterized by overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This, in turn, may change the level of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the level of protein kinases in sperm cells. Literature data indicate that exposure to low frequency EMFs results in changes in cell cycle. The authors’ earlier study showed changes in cell cycle and a decrease in the level of histone kinase (a kinase that may be relevant to the G2/M transition during the cell cycle) in spermatozoa after exposure to 50 and 10 GHz EMFs.


The objective of this study was to assess antioxidant enzymes, ROS, malondialdehyde (MDA) as a marker of lipid peroxidation, micronuclei as markers of genotoxicity, histone kinase and cell cycle in sperm cells of rats after exposure to RF EMFs.


Six rats were exposed to 900 MHz pulse GSM EMFs from mobile phones for 2 h a day for 35 days, and 6 rats were sham-exposed. Sperm samples were taken immediately after exposure.


The level of ROS was significantly increased in rats exposed to RF EMFs compared to sham-exposed rats. Exposed rats showed a significant decrease in GPx, SOD, a significant increase in CAT activity and MDA level. There was a significant decrease in micronuclei, histone kinase activity and a significant change in sperm cell cycle (a decrease in the G0/G1 and G2/M phases) of exposed animals.

Interpretation and Conclusion

The authors made the following conclusion: “We suggest that a reduction in GPx and SOD activity and an increase in CAT activity observed in our study are linked to an overproduction of ROS under microwave field exposure. Our findings on histone kinase, micronuclei, sperm cell cycle, and antioxidant enzymes point towards the possibility of infertility”.

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