Abstract Title:

Evidence of oxidative stress in American kestrels exposed to electromagnetic fields.

Abstract Source:

Environ Res. 2001 Jun ;86(2):198-207. PMID: 11437466

Abstract Author(s):

K J Fernie, D M Bird

Article Affiliation:

K J Fernie


Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) alters melatonin, behavior, growth, and reproduction of captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius), particularly of males. EMF exposure is a"possible"human carcinogen and associated with some neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress contributes to cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and immune disorders. We tested whether EMF exposure elicits an avian immune response and alters oxidative stress levels. Captive male kestrels were bred under control or EMF conditions equivalent to those experienced by wild kestrels. Short-term EMF exposure (one breeding season) suppressed plasma total proteins, hematocrits, and carotenoids in the first half of the breeding season. It also suppressed erythrocyte cells and lymphocyte proportions, but elevated granulosa proportions at the end of the breeding season. Long-term EMF exposure (two breeding seasons) suppressed hematocrits in the first half of the reproductive period too. Results indicate that only short-term EMF birds experience an immune response, particularly during the early half of the breeding season. The elevation of granulocytes, and the suppression of carotenoids, total proteins, and previously melatonin in the same kestrels, signifies that the short-term EMF male kestrels had higher levels of oxidative stress, due to an immune response and/or EMF exposure. Long-term EMF exposure may be linked to higher levels of oxidative stress through EMF exposure only.

Study Type : Animal Study

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