Objective: Technological devices, which are introduced into our daily lives and radiate increasingly more electromagnetic waves with a certain frequency, expose people to an electromagnetic field. It is also well known that electromagnetic fields caused by these devices have certain adverse effects on the embryonic and pubertal development, and cause pathological changes in the tissues. Pathological changes, which emerge as a result of the damages in the spinal tissue, may cause signal conduction problems in the brain, and peripheral nervous system. Therefore, in our study, we investigated with histopathological analysis techniques the changes in the spinal tissue of rats during the prenatal period that were exposed to an electromagnetic field (frequency: 900MHz).
Materials and Methods: Total 18 rats (6 pregnant Spraque-Dawley female rats and 12 baby rats delivered by these rats) were included into our study. We divided the rats into two groups as electromagnetic field group and control group. The electromagnetic group consisted of 6 newborn rats, which were exposed to the electromagnetic field during the prenatal period. Pregnant rats in the electromagnetic field group were exposed to a magnetic field of 900MHz radio frequency with a digital signal generator (ER device) that was placed in the center of the cage for 24 hours and 20 days. Newborn rats were kept 60 days for the pubertal stage development, and then they were anesthetized.
Results: We observed that the neuronal perikaryon and oligodendrocytes in the samples of the electromagnetic field group had pyknotic nuclear structures. We also determined that the Kaspaz-3 positive cells were increased in the neurons and oligodendrocytes in the gray matter of the spinal tissue samples in the electromagnetic field group compared to the control group (p=0.0001, p<0.05).
Conclusion: We observed that an electromagnetic field with a frequency of 900MHz caused injuries in the histological layers of the medulla spinalis.