Saygin, M.; Caliskan, S.; Karahan, N.; Koyu, A.; Gumral, N., and Uguz, A. C. Testicular apoptosis and histopathological changes induced by a 2.45 GHz electromagnetic field. Toxicol Ind Health. 2011 Feb 10.


Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with the frequency of 2450 MHz (2.45 GHz) are widely used for industrial, scientific, medical, military and domestic purposes. Results of some studies suggest specific sensitivity of biological systems to EMFs of this frequency.


The objective was “to investigate the effects of 2450 MHz electromagnetic field on apoptosis and histopathological changes on rat testis tissue”.


Eighteen rats were equally divided into three groups: cage control, sham-exposed and EMF exposed. Rats in the latter group were exposed to 2.45 GHz EMF at SAR of 3.21 W/kg 60 min/day for 28 days. The animals were euthanized on day 28; testes were removed for histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations. Immunohistochemical analysis included the following factors relevant to apoptosis: Bcl-2 and Bax apoptosis genes, caspase-3 and caspase-8 apoptosis enzymes, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).


Histopathological examination showed that the number of Leydig cells was significantly lower in the testes of the EMF-exposed rats as compared to the control or sham-exposed rats. Estimation of spermatogenesis using the Johnsen testicular biopsy score revealed significant differences between the EMF-exposed group and the control groups. No group differences were seen in the diameter of seminiferous tubules or in the numbers of pyknoic, karyolectic and karyotic cells. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed no group differences in the activity of caspase-3, Bcl-2 and TNF-a. In the EMF-exposed group, Bax activity was increased compared to the cage control group, and caspase-3 activity was increased compared to the sham-exposed group.

Interpretation and Conclusion

The authors have concluded that 2.45 GHz EMF may affect spermatogenesis and cause apoptosis in the testicular tissue due to thermal and stress- originated effects.

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