AccScience Publishing / TD / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/td.1703
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effect of 900 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation emitted from mobile phone on testicular immunity and the associated risk of testicular germ cell tumor

Fesih Ok1* Mustafa Emre2 Atil Bisgin3 Samir Jafarguliyev1 Ibrahim Boga3 Salih Cetiner4 Gulbanu Yesyet4 Emine Bagir5 Yildirim Bayazit1 Saban Doran1
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1 Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
2 Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
3 Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
4 Central Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
5 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
Tumor Discovery 2024, 3(1), 1703 https://doi.org/10.36922/td.1703
Submitted: 29 August 2023 | Accepted: 30 November 2023 | Published: 19 February 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

The emission of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) from mobile phones has been implicated in causing inflammatory changes in the testis. Nevertheless, the direct association of these changes with the development of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) remains unclear. Therefore, we purposed to investigate the effect of RF-EMR exposure on inflammatory changes in the testis, cytokine gene expression levels, and the incidence of TGCT. Twenty male Wistar albino rats were randomly assigned to either the study or control groups. The study group was exposed to RF-EMR at 900 MHz, 26 V/m, and a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.14 W/kg for 4 h/day over 8 weeks. Histopathological analysis, vitality analysis using Annexin V, and real-time polymerase chain reaction for the analysis of interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-4, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) cytokine gene expressions were performed on the testicular tissue. The median testis weight (163.0 g [133.0 – 183.0] vs. 179.0 g [134.0 – 195.0], P = 0.012) and volume (0.95 cm3 [0.800 – 1.400] vs. 1.100 cm3 [1.050 – 1.500], P = 0.031) of the study group were significantly lower compared to the control group. The seminiferous tubule damage (P < 0.001) and interstitial edema (P = 0.042) were significantly higher in the study group. The tunica albuginea thickness was significantly reduced in the study group (P < 0.001). The fold changes in the expression levels of IL-4 and IFN-γ increased significantly in the study group. Our findings indicate that RF-EMR exposure causes structural, histopathological, and inflammatory toxic effects on the testis. The observed elevation in gene expression levels of IL-4 and IFN-γ cytokines following RF-EMR exposure suggests their potential role as regulators of TGCT initiation, thereby offering a viable potential therapeutic target in combination with current treatments. Nonetheless, future well-designed studies are necessary to validate our findings.

Keywords
Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation
Testis
Inflammation
Testicular germ cell tumor
Funding
Cukurova University Scientific Research Projects
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare they have no competing interests.
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Tumor Discovery, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9775 Published by AccScience Publishing