EMF Health-effects Research

Mobile phone-induced myocardial oxidative stress:

Ozguner F, Altinbas A, Ozaydin M, Dogan A, Vural H, Kisioglu AN, Cesur G, Yildirim NG.

Toxicol Ind Health. 21(9):223-230, 2005

Mobile phone-induced myocardial oxidative stress: protection by a novel antioxidant agent caffeic acid phenethyl ester.

Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or radiofrequency fields of cellular mobile phones may affect biological systems by increasing free radicals, which appear mainly to enhance lipid peroxidation, and by changing the antioxidant defense systems of human tissues, thus leading to oxidative stress.

Mobile phones are used in close proximity to the heart, therefore 900 MHz EMR emitting mobile phones may be absorbed by the heart.

Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), one of the major components of honeybee propolis, was recently found to be a potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant, and is used in folk medicine.

The aim of this study was to examine 900 MHz mobile phone-induced oxidative stress that promotes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the role of CAPE on myocardial tissue against possible oxidative damage in rats. Thirty rats were used in the study. Animals were randomly grouped as follows:

  • sham-operated control group (N: 10) and experimental groups:
  • (a) group II: 900 MHz EMR exposed group (N: 10); and
  • (b) group III: 900 MHz EMR exposed+CAPE-treated group (N: 10).

A 900 MHz EMR radiation was applied to groups II and III 30 min/day, for 10 days using an experimental exposure device. Malondialdehyde (MDA, an index of lipid peroxidation), and nitric oxide (NO, a marker of oxidative stress) were used as markers of oxidative stress-induced heart impairment. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities were studied to evaluate the changes of antioxidant status.

In the EMR exposed group, while tissue MDA and NO levels increased, SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities were reduced. CAPE treatment in group III reversed these effects. In this study, the increased levels of MDA and NO and the decreased levels of myocardial SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities demonstrate the role of oxidative mechanisms in 900 MHz mobile phone-induced heart tissue damage, and CAPE, via its free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties, ameliorates oxidative heart injury.

These results show that CAPE exhibits a protective effect on mobile phone-induced and free radical mediated oxidative heart impairment in rats.

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