EMF Health-effects Research

1800 MHz electromagnetic field effects on melatonin release from isolated pineal glands.

Sukhotina I, Streckert JR, Bitz AK, Hansen VW, Lerchl A

J Pineal Res. 40(1):86-91, 2006

Isolated pineal glands of Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were continuously perifused by Krebs-Ringer buffer, stimulated with the beta-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol to induce melatonin synthesis, and exposed for 7 hr to a 1800 MHz continuous wave (CW) or pulsed GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)-modulated electromagnetic signal at specific absorption rate (SAR) rates of 8, 80, 800, and 2700 mW/kg. Experiments were performed in a blind fashion.

Perifusate samples were collected every hour, and melatonin concentrations were measured by a specific radioimmunoassay.

Both types of signal significantly enhanced melatonin release at 800 mW/kg SAR, while at 2700 mW/kg SAR, melatonin levels were elevated in the CW, but suppressed in the GSM-exposed pineal glands. As a temperature rise of approximately 1.2 degrees C was measured at 2700 mW/kg SAR, effects at this level are thermal.

With regard to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, the data do not support the 'melatonin hypothesis,' according to which nonthermal exposure suppresses melatonin synthesis.

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