Proteomic analysis of continuous 900-MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure in testicular tissue: a rat model of human cell phone exposure

Abstract

Although cell phones have been used worldwide, some adverse and toxic effects were reported for this communication technology apparatus. To analyze in vivo effects of exposure to radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) on protein expression in rat testicular proteome, 20 Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMF for 0, 1, 2, or 4 h/day for 30 consecutive days. Protein content of rat testes was separated by high-resolution two-dimensional electrophoresis using immobilized pH gradient (pI 4–7, 7 cm) and 12% acrylamide and identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS. Two protein spots were found differentially overexpressed (P < 0.05) in intensity and volume with induction factors 1.7 times greater after RF-EMF exposure. After 4 h of daily exposure for 30 consecutive days, ATP synthase beta subunit (ASBS) and hypoxia up-regulated protein 1 precursor (HYOU1) were found to be significantly up-regulated. These proteins affect signaling pathways in rat testes and spermatogenesis and play a critical role in protein folding and secretion in the endoplasmic reticulum. Our results indicate that exposure to RF-EMF produces increases in testicular proteins in adults that are related to carcinogenic risk and reproductive damage. In light of the widespread practice of men carrying phones in their pockets near their gonads, where exposures can exceed as-tested guidelines, further study of these effects should be a high priority.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Research Council of Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran (Grant No. 71-GR-VT-5). Animals were kindly provided by Dr. Mahjoob Vahedi at the Laboratory Animal Center of University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran. Proteomic analysis was kindly performed with the cooperation of Biotechnology Research Center of Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. Mr. Omid Koohi-Hosseinabadi provided expert technical assistance with animal handling and sampling.

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Correspondence to Masood Sepehrimanesh.

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Sepehrimanesh, M., Kazemipour, N., Saeb, M. et al. Proteomic analysis of continuous 900-MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure in testicular tissue: a rat model of human cell phone exposure. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 13666–13673 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-8882-z

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Keywords

  • Proteome
  • Electromagnetic wave
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Two-dimensional electrophoresis