Early exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields at 1850 MHz affects auditory circuits in early postnatal mice.
Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 23 ;9(1):377. Epub 2019 Jan 23. PMID: 30674958
Ju Hwan Kim
In the present study, we measured the spontaneous post synaptic currents (sPSCs) at the post synaptic principle cells of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) in early postnatal mice after exposure to 1850 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). sPSC frequencies and amplitudes were significantly increased in the RF-EMF exposed group. Moreover, the number of synaptic vesicles in the calyx of Held was significantly increased in presynaptic nerve terminals. Following RF-EMF exposure, the number of docking synaptic vesicles in the active zone increased, thereby expanding the total length of the presynaptic active zone in the calyx of Held. These data suggest that the increased sPSCs are a result of greater synaptic vesicle release from presynaptic nerves. However, we found no morphological changes in the inner hair cell ribbon synapses. Further, there were no significant changes in the hearing threshold of the auditory brainstem response at postnatal day 15. Our results indicate that exposure to RF-EMF at an early postnatal stage might directly affect brainstem auditory circuits, but it does not seem to alter general sound perception.