Oxidative stress and prevention of the adaptive response to chronic iron overload in the brain of young adult rats exposed to a 150 kilohertz electromagnetic field.
Neuroscience. 2011 Jul 14 ;186:39-47. Epub 2011 Apr 12. PMID: 21497179
Iron surcharge may induce an oxidative stress-based decline in several neurological functions. In addition, electromagnetic fields (EMF) of frequencies up to about 100 kHz, emitted by electric/electronic devices, have been suggested to enhance free radical production through an iron dependent pathway. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine a possible relationship between iron status, exposure to EMF, and brain oxidative stress in young adult rats. Samples were micro-dissected from prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and cerebellum after chronic saline or iron overload (IO) as well as after chronic sham exposure or exposure to a 150 kHz EMF or after combining EMF exposure with IO. The brain samples were used to monitor oxidative stress-induced lipid peroxidation and activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. While IO did not induce any oxidative stress in young adult rats, it stimulated antioxidant defenses in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex in particular. On the contrary, EMF exposure stimulated lipid peroxidation mainly in the cerebellum, without affecting antioxidant defenses. When EMF was coapplied with IO, lipid peroxidation was further increased as compared to EMF alone while the increase in antioxidant defenses triggered by the sole IO was abolished. These data suggest that EMF exposure may be harmful in young adults by impairing the antioxidant defenses directed at preventing iron-induced oxidative stress.