EMF Health-effects Research

Interaction of ethanol and microwaves on the blood-brain barrier of rats

Neilly JP, Lin JC

Bioelectromagnetics. 1986;7(4):405-14 1986

The combined effects of ethanol and microwaves on the permeation of Evans blue dye through the mammalian blood-brain barrier was studied in male Wistar rats. Anesthetized rats were infused through a cannula in the left femoral vein with 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 or 0.7 grams of absolute ethanol per kilogram of body mass. A control group was given 0.7 g/kg of isotonic saline.

The left hemisphere of the brain was irradiated by 3.15-GHz microwave energy at 3.0 W/cm2 rms for 15 min. The rat's rectal temperature was maintained at 37.0 degrees C. Immediately after irradiation, 2% Evans blue dye in saline (2.0 ml/kg body mass) was injected through the cannula.

The results show that as the quantity of alcohol was increased, the degree of staining was decreased or eliminated. The temperature of the irradiated area of the brain increased for the first 4 to 5 minutes of irradiation and then stabilized for the remainder of the irradiation period. The steady-state temperature was highest in animals receiving saline or the smallest dose of alcohol. As the quantity of alcohol was increased, the steady-state temperature was reduced.

These results indicate that ethanol inhibits microwave-induced permeation of the blood-brain barrier through reduced heating of the brain.

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