Impact of long-term RF-EMF on oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in aging brains of C57BL/6 mice

Ye Ji Jeong, Yeonghoon Son, Na Kyung Han, Hyung Do Choi, Jeong Ki Pack, Nam Kim, Yun Sil Lee, Hae June Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The expansion of mobile phone use has raised questions regarding the possible biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure on oxidative stress and brain inflammation. Despite accumulative exposure of humans to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) from mobile phones, their long-term effects on oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the aging brain have not been studied. In the present study, middle-aged C57BL/6 mice (aged 14 months) were exposed to 1950 MHz electromagnetic fields for 8 months (specific absorption rate (SAR) 5 W/kg, 2 h/day, 5 d/week). Compared with those in the young group, levels of protein (3-nitro-tyrosine) and lipid (4-hydroxy-2-nonenal) oxidative damage markers were significantly increased in the brains of aged mice. In addition, levels of markers for DNA damage (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, p53, p21, γH2AX, and Bax), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1)), astrocyte (GFAP), and microglia (Iba-1) were significantly elevated in the brains of aged mice. However, long-term RF-EMF exposure did not change the levels of oxidative stress, DNA damage, apoptosis, astrocyte, or microglia markers in the aged mouse brains. Moreover, long-term RF-EMF exposure did not alter locomotor activity in aged mice. Therefore, these findings indicate that long-term exposure to RF-EMF did not influence age-induced oxidative stress or neuroinflammation in C57BL/6 mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2103
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion (IITP) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (2017-0-00961, Study on the EMF Exposure Control in Smart Society).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Aged brain
  • DNA damage
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • RF-EMF


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