We investigated the effects of exposure in utero to a 900 megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) on 60-day-old rat testis and epididymis.
Pregnant rats were divided into control (CG; no treatment) and EMF (EMFG) groups. The EMFG was exposed to 900 MHz EMF for 1 h each day during days 13 - 21 of pregnancy.
Newborn rats were either newborn CG (NCG) or newborn EMF groups (NEMFG).
On postnatal day 60, a testis and epididymis were removed from each animal.
Epididymal semen quality, and lipid and DNA oxidation levels, apoptotic index and histopathological damage to the testis were compared.
We found a higher apoptotic index, greater DNA oxidation levels and lower sperm motility and vitality in the NEMFG compared to controls.
Immature germ cells in the seminiferous tubule lumen, and altered seminiferous tubule epithelium and seminiferous tubule structure also were observed in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections of NEMFG testis.
Nuclear changes that indicated apoptosis were identified in TUNEL stained sections and large numbers of apoptotic cells were observed in most of the seminiferous tubule epithelium in the NEMFG.
Sixty-day-old rat testes exposed to 900 MHz EMF exhibited altered sperm quality and biochemical characteristics.