ESPE Abstracts (2019) 92 P1-237

The Effects of Fetal Electromagnetic Field Exposure on Expression of Anxiety Behavior and Associated Genes in Adolescent Period

Hale OKSUZ1, Isil OCAL2, Kubra AKILLIOGLU3, Nermin Seda ILGAZ1, Lutfiye OZPAK1, Seray KARACAY1, Halil Ibrahim OKSUZ4, Fatma COBAN2, Levent SANGUN5, Mehmet Bertan YILMAZ1


1Department of Medical Biology, Adana, Turkey. 2Department of Medical Biophysics, Adana, Turkey. 3Department of Medical Physiology, Adana, Turkey. 4Department of Physics, Adana, Turkey. 5Vocational School, Adana, Turkey


The stimulants that the mother is exposed during pregnancy may affect the baby in the future. Electromagnetic field exposure is an important external stimulus that we are subject to. In addition to the interaction of the earth and the sun with the magnetic field of man; nowadays the intensive use of electrical appliances, computers, mobile phones and internet, how electromagnetic field exposure may affect future generations will only occur in the continuation of our generation. It is thought that electromagnetic fields have many effects and may affect anxiety behaviors. In our study, we investigated the effects of low frequency electromagnetic field exposure on the anxiety-related genes and protein levels and also on anxiety-like behaviors during adolescent periods of offspring. Our study groups consist of rats exposed to the pulsed electromagnetic field at a frequency of 50 Hz (usually the power frequency in the networks in Europe) for 2 hours a day at the first, second and third weeks of gestation, male and female groups born out of mothers exposed to the electromagnetic field during pregnancy and controls for every group that were not exposed to any treatment. Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by using an elevated plus maze test after electromagnetic field treatments. After the behavioral test, hippocampus tissues of all groups were extracted. First, RNA and protein isolation were performed from hippocampus tissues. Gene expression profiles were evaluated with Real time PCR method protein expression levels were evaluated by western blot method.

In our study, anxiety-like behavior was observed in the elevated plus maze test in group of males born from rats which were exposed to pulsed electromagnetic field during pregnancy. Dopamine D1 receptor, fos, 5-HT1A, Grin1, Grin2a, Grin2d, Adora1 and Adora2a gene expressions suppressed and only nervous system development and plasticity associated BDNF gene expression induction were observed in gene expression analysis. This increase in expression in the BDNF gene also supports our western blot results.

Our data suggest that the exposure of electromagnetic field during pregnancy may make the offspring more sensitive to anxiety in the future, but it is foreseen that more detailed and advanced studies are needed in the light of the results obtained in terms of gene expression.