EMF Health-effects Research

Inhibitory effects of melatonin on preneoplastic liver lesions in in F344 rats: relation to the influence of EM near field exposure.

Imaida K, Hagiwara A, Yoshino H, Tamano S, Sano M, Futakuchi M, Ogawa K, Asamoto M, Shirai T,

Cancer Lett 155(1):105-114, 2000

Inhibitory effects of low doses of melatonin on induction of preneoplastic liver lesions in a medium-term liver bioassay in F344 rats: relation to the influence of electromagnetic near field exposure.

We have previously reported that exposures of F344 male rats to both 900 MHz and 1.5 GHz electro-magnetic near fields (EMFs) results in slightly decreased numbers and areas of glutathione S-transferase (GST-P)-positive liver foci, liver preneoplastic lesions in rats, in a medium-term liver bioassay (K. Imaida, M. Taki, T. Yamaguchi, T. Ito, S. Watanabe, K. Wake, A. Aimoto, Y. Kamimura, N. Ito, T. Shirai, Lack of promoting effects of the electromagnetic near-field used for cellular phones (929.2 MHz) on rat liver carcinogenesis in a medium-term liver bioassay, Carcinogenesis 19 (1998) 311-314; K. Imaida, M. Taki, S. Watanabe, Y. Kamimura, T. Ito, T. Yamaguchi, N. Ito, T. Shirai, The 1.5 GHz electromagnetic near-field used for cellular phones does not promote rat liver carcinogenesis in a medium-term liver bioassay, Jpn. J. Cancer Res. 89 (1998) 995-1002.).

In both experiments, the melatonin serum levels were significantly decreased in both 900 MHz and 1.5 GHz exposed groups as compared with sham-exposed control group values. Therefore, changes of serum melatonin levels may modify the development of preneoplastic lesions in the livers of rats exposed by EMF.

In order to clarify this question, the effects of different doses of melatonin (1, 5, 10 and 20 ppm in the drinking water) were analyzed in the same bioassay system employed for our previously reported EMF exposure studies. Six-week-old male F344 rats were given a single dose of diethylnitrosamine (DEN, 200 mg/kg b.w., i.p.).

Starting 2 weeks later, they were treated with 0, 1, 5, 10 and 20 ppm melatonin in their drinking water for 6 weeks. Melatonin treatment were performed only during the night (between 18:00 to 09:00) in order to maintain their circadian rhythm, since serum melatonin levels are high at midnight. At week 3, all rats were subjected to a two-thirds partial hepatectomy. At week 8, the experiment was terminated and the animals were sacrificed. Serum hormone levels of melatonin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone at this time point were measured, only the first being elevated, while LH and testosterone were reduced.

Although clear dose dependence was not apparent, both numbers and areas of GST-P-positive foci in the liver were decreased in the melatonin treated groups, this being significant for numbers in the 10 ppm melatonin group.

Comparison of the current results with the previously reported findings for EMF exposure experiments, suggests that increase in melatonin serum levels is a possible reason for the associated tendency for decreased preneoplastic hepatocyte foci development.

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