EMF Health-effects Research

Amino acid concentrations in hypothalamic and caudate nuclei during microwave-induced thermal stress: analysis by microdialysis.

Mason PA, Escarciga R, Doyle JM, Romano WF, Berger RE, Donnellan JP

Bioelectromagnetics 18(3):277-283, 1997

Exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) may produce thermal responses. Extracellular amino acid concentrations in the hypothalamus (Hyp) and caudate nucleus (CN) were measured by using in vivo microdialysis before and during exposure to RFR.

Under urethane anesthetic, each rat was implanted stereotaxically with a nonmetallic microdialysis probe and temperature probe guides and then placed in the exposure chamber. The rat laid on its right side with its head and neck placed directly under the wave guide. Temperature probes were placed in the left brain, right brain, face (subcutaneously), left tympanum, and rectum.

Each microdialysis sample was collected over a 20 min period. The microdialysis probe was perfused for 2 h before the rat was exposed to 5.02 GHz radiation (10 microseconds pulse width, 1000 pulses/s). The right and left sides of the brain were maintained at approximately 41.2 and 41.7 degrees C, respectively, throughout a 40 min exposure period.

Initially when the brain was being heated to these temperatures, the time-averaged specific absorption rates (SARs) for the right and left sides of the brain were 29 and 40 W/kg, respectively. Concentrations of aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, glutamine, and glycine in dialysate were determined by using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. In the Hyp and CN, the concentrations of aspartic acid, serine, and glycine increased significantly during RFR exposure (P < .05).

These results indicate that RFR-induced thermal stress produces a general change in the amino acid concentrations that is not restricted to thermoregulatory centers. Changes in the concentrations of glutamic acid (Hyp, P = .16; CN, P = .34) and glutamine (Hyp, P = .13; CN, P = .10) were not statistically significant. Altered amino acid concentrations may reveal which brain regions are susceptible to damage in response to RFR-induced thermal stress.

Please e-mail comments, information and updates to DON MAISCH: