Over the years, due to rapid technological progress, radiation from man-made sources exceeded that of natural origin. There is a general concern regarding a growing number of appliances that use radiofrequency/ microwave (RF/MW) radiation with particular emphasis on mobile communication systems. Since nonthermal biological effects and mechanisms of RF/MW radiation are still uncertain, laboratory studies on animal models, tissues, cells, and cell free system are of extraordinary importance in bioelectromagnetic research. We believe that such investigations play a supporting role in public risk assessment. Cellular systems with the potential for a clear response to RF/MW exposures should be used in those studies. It is known that organism is a complex electrochemical system where processes of oxidation and reduction regularly occur. One of the plausible mechanisms is connected with generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Depending on concentration, ROS can have both benefi cial and deleterious effects. Positive effects are connected with cell signalling, defence against infectious agents, and proliferative cell ability. On the other hand, excessive production, which overloads antioxidant defence mechanism, leads to cellular damage with serious potential for disease development. ROS concentration increase within the cell caused by RF/MW radiation seems to be a biologically relevant hypothesis to give clear insight into the RF/MW action at non-thermal level of radiation. In order to better understand the exact mechanism of action and its consequences, further research is needed in the fi eld. We would like to present current knowledge on possible biological mechanisms of RF/MW actions.
Ana Marija Marjanović, Ivan Pavičić and Ivančica Trošić
Ivančica Trošić, Mirjana Mataušić-Pišl, Ivan Pavičić and Ana Marija Marjanović
The unfavourable outcomes of mobile phone use on male fertility have still not been fully elaborated. To establish the potentially adverse effects of everyday exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RF) on humans, we performed a controlled animal study that aimed to investigate the influence of RF radiation on rat testis histology as well as the amount, mobility, and structure of epididymal free sperm cell population. Eighteen adult male rats were divided into two groups of nine. One group comprised sham-exposed control animals, while the other group endured total body irradiation for an hour daily during two weeks. A 915 MHz RF field, power density of 2.4 W m-2 and strength of 30 V m-1 was generated in a Gigahertz Transversal Electromagnetic chamber. The specific absorption rate (SAR) was 0.6 W kg-1. Body mass and temperature were measured before and after each exposure treatment. Immediately after the last exposure, the animals were sacrificed and testes removed and prepared for histological analysis. The free sperm cells were collected from the cauda epididymis and their quantity, quality, and morphology were microscopically determined using a haemocytometer. No statistically significant alteration in any of the endpoints was observed. This study found no evidence of an unfavourable effect of the applied RF radiation on testicular function or structure. Based on these results, we can conclude that short-time intermittent exposure to RF radiation does not represent a significant risk factor for rat reproductive functions.
Ana Marija Marjanović Čermak, Ivan Pavičić and Davor Želježić
Pesticides are a highly diverse group of compounds and the most important chemical stressors in the environment. Mechanisms that could explain pesticide toxicity are constantly being studied and their interactions at the cellular level are often observed in well-controlled in vitro studies. Several pesticide groups have been found to impair the redox balance in the cell, but the mechanisms leading to oxidative stress for certain pesticides are only partly understood. As our scientific project “Organic pollutants in environment – markers and biomarkers of toxicity (OPENTOX)” is dedicated to studying toxic effects of selected insecticides and herbicides, this review is focused on reporting the knowledge regarding oxidative stress-related phenomena at the cellular level. We wanted to single out the most important facts relevant to the evaluation of our own findings from studies conducted on in vitro cell models.
Mirta Milić, Suzana Žunec, Vedran Micek, Vilena Kašuba, Anja Mikolić, Blanka Tariba Lovaković, Tanja Živković Semren, Ivan Pavičić, Ana Marija Marjanović Čermak, Alica Pizent, Ana Lucić Vrdoljak, Rafael Valencia-Quintana, Juana Sánchez-Alarcón and Davor Želježić
In this 28 day-study, we evaluated the effects of herbicide glyphosate administered by gavage to Wistar rats at daily doses equivalent to 0.1 of the acceptable operator exposure level (AOEL), 0.5 of the consumer acceptable daily intake (ADI), 1.75 (corresponding to the chronic population-adjusted dose, cPAD), and 10 mg kg−1 body weight (bw) (corresponding to 100 times the AOEL). At the end of each treatment, the body and liver weights were measured and compared with their baseline values. DNA damage in leukocytes and liver tissue was estimated with the alkaline comet assay. Oxidative stress was evaluated using a battery of endpoints to establish lipid peroxidation via thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS) level, level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione (GSH) level, and the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). Total cholinesterase activity and the activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) were also measured. The exposed animals gained less weight than control. Treatment resulted in significantly higher primary DNA damage in the liver cells and leukocytes. Glyphosate exposure significantly lowered TBARS in the liver of the AOEL, ADI, and cPAD groups, and in plasma in the AOEL and cPAD group. AChE was inhibited with all treatments, but the AOEL and ADI groups significantly differed from control. Total ChE and plasma/liver ROS/GSH levels did not significantly differ from control, except for the 35 % decrease in ChE in the AOEL and ADI groups and a significant drop in liver GSH in the cPAD and 100xAOEL groups. AOEL and ADI blood GSH-Px activity dropped significantly, but in the liver it significantly increased in the ADI, cPAD, and 100xAOEL groups vs. control. All these findings show that even exposure to low glyphosate levels can have serious adverse effects and points to a need to change the approach to risk assessment of low-level chronic/sub-chronic glyphosate exposure, where oxidative stress is not necessarily related to the genetic damage and AChE inhibition.