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Home > Archives > Volume 11, No 4 (2013) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2013.11.4.698

The Effects of 900 Megahertz Electromagnetic Field Applied in the Prenatal Period on Spinal Cord Morphology and Motor Behavior in Female Rat Pups

Ersan Odacı, Ayşe İkinci, Mehmet Yıldırım, Haydar Kaya, Metehan Akça, Hatice Hancı, Osman Fikret Sönmez, Ali Aslan, Mukadder Okuyan, Orhan Baş


This study investigated the effect of a 900 megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) applied in the prenatal period on the spinal cord and motor behavior of female rat pups. Beginning of the study, female Sprague Dawley rats (180–250 g) were left to mate with male rats. Rats identified as pregnant were then divided into control (n=3) and EMF groups (n=3). The EMF group was exposed to 1-h 900 MHz EMF daily between days 13 and 21 of pregnancy. At 21 days old, rat pups were removed from their mothers and divided into two newborn rat groups, control (n=13) and EMF (n=10). The rotarod test was applied to the rat pups to assess motor functions and the open field test to evaluate locomotor activity. On day 32 of the study, the rat pups were decapitated, and the spinal cord in the upper thoracic region was removed. Following routine histological tests, they were stained with Cresyl fast violet. Rotarod test results revealed a significant increase in EMF group rat pups’ motor functions (p=0.037). However, no difference was observed in the open field test results (p>0.05). In the EMF group’ rat pups, we observed pathological changes in the spinal cord. On the basis of our results, 900 MHz EMF applied in the prenatal period affected spinal cord development. This effect was observed in the form of pathological changes in the spinal cord of rat pups, and it may be that these pathological changes led to an increase in rat pups’ motor activities.


female rat; electromagnetic field; spinal cord; motor behavior

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