Main Article Content
Background: The wide use of cell phones in recent years has raised many questions regarding the safety of prolonged exposure to its associated high-frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR), especially for testes which are vulnerable to its hazards. This study aims to experimentally study the possible hazardous effects of cell phones’ associated EMR on testicular functions and structures.
Materials and methods: A total of 50 adult Wistar albino rats were divided into a control group (10 rats in group I) and EMR-exposed rats for three and six months (groups II and III respectively, 20 rats each). By the third and sixth months levels of serum testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin were evaluated in comparison to the control rats. Sacrificed rats’ testes were examined using light microscopy and electron microscopy.
Results: Testosterone levels were significantly lower in groups II and III compared to group I (p < 0.001). FSH, LH, and prolactin didn’t show a statistically significant difference among the three groups (p > 0.05). Light microscopy showed progressive degenerative changes in different seminiferous tubules with intact interstitial collagen bundles, except around degenerated tubules in groups II and III. Electron micrographs suggested Leydig cells to be the most affected structure with significant degenerative changes.
Conclusion: Under the circumstances of this experimental study in rats, prolonged close exposure to cell phones seems to have obvious deleterious effects on testicular tissues and functions. This is supported by serum testosterone level reduction and histopathological degenerative changes in testicular seminiferous tubules and Leydig cells.