EMF Health-effects Research

A novel antioxidant agent caffeic acid phenethyl ester prevents long-term mobile phone exposure-induced renal impairment in rat.

Ozguner F, Oktem F, Ayata A, Koyu A, Yilmaz HR.

Mol Cell Biochem. 277(1-2):73-80, 2005

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a flavonoid like compound, is one of the major components of honeybee propolis. It has been used in folk medicine for many years in Middle East countries. It was found to be a potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant recently.

The aim of this study was to examine long-term applied 900 MHz emitting mobile phone-induced oxidative stress that promotes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and, was to investigate the role of CAPE on kidney tissue against the possible electromagnetic radiation (EMR)-induced renal impairment in rats. In particular, the ROS such as superoxide and nitric oxide (NO) may contribute to the pathophysiology of EMR-induced renal impairment.

Malondialdehyde (MDA, an index of lipid peroxidation) levels, urinary N-acetyl-beta-D: -glucosaminidase (NAG, a marker of renal tubular injury) and nitric oxide (NO, an oxidant product) levels were used as markers of oxidative stress-induced renal impairment and the success of CAPE treatment. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in renal tissue were determined to evaluate the changes of antioxidant status.

The rats used in the study were randomly grouped (10 each) as follows:

  • i) Control group (without stress and EMR),
  • ii) Sham-operated rats stayed without exposure to EMR (exposure device off),
  • iii) Rats exposed to 900 MHz EMR (EMR group), and
  • iv) A 900 MHz EMR exposed + CAPE treated group (EMR + CAPE group).

    In the EMR exposed group, while tissue MDA, NO levels and urinary NAG levels increased (p < 0.0001), the activities of SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px in renal tissue were reduced (p < 0.001). CAPE treatment reversed these effects as well (p < 0.0001, p < 0.001 respectively).

    In conclusion, the increase in NO and MDA levels of renal tissue, and in urinary NAG with the decrease in renal SOD, CAT, GSH-Px activities demonstrate the role of oxidative mechanisms in 900 MHz mobile phone-induced renal tissue damage, and CAPE, via its free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties, ameliorates oxidative renal damage. These results strongly suggest that CAPE exhibits a protective effect on mobile phone-induced and free radical mediated oxidative renal impairment in rats.

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