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18 August 2021 Effects of Microwave 10 GHz Radiation Exposure in the Skin of Rats: An Insight on Molecular Responses
Saurabh Verma, Gaurav K. Keshri, Santanu Karmakar, Kumar Vyonkesh Mani, Satish Chauhan, Anju Yadav, Manish Sharma, Asheesh Gupta
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Abstract

Microwave (MW) radiation poses the risk of potential hazards on human health. The present study investigated the effects of MW 10 GHz exposure for 3 h/day for 30 days at power densities of 5.23 ± 0.25 and 10.01 ± 0.15 mW/cm2 in the skin of rats. The animals exposed to 10 mW/cm2 (corresponded to twice the ICNIRP-2020 occupational reference level of MW exposure for humans) exhibited significant biophysical, biochemical, molecular and histological alterations compared to sham-irradiated animals. Infrared thermography revealed an increase in average skin surface temperature by 1.8°C and standard deviation of 0.3°C after 30 days of 10 mW/cm2 MW exposure compared to the sham-irradiated animals. MW exposure also led to oxidative stress (ROS, 4-HNE, LPO, AOPP), inflammatory responses (NFkB, iNOS/NOS2, COX-2) and metabolic alterations [hexokinase (HK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), citrate synthase (CS) and glucose-6-phospahte dehydrogenase (G6PD)] in 10 mW/cm2 irradiated rat skin. A significant alteration in expression of markers associated with cell survival (Akt/PKB) and HSP27/p38MAPK-related stress-response signaling cascade was observed in 10 mW/cm2 irradiated rat skin compared to sham-irradiated rat skin. However, MW-irradiated groups did not show apoptosis, evident by unchanged caspase-3 levels. Histopathological analysis revealed a mild cytoarchitectural alteration in epidermal layer and slight aggregation of leukocytes in 10 mW/cm2 irradiated rat skin. Altogether, the present findings demonstrated that 10 GHz exposure in continuous-wave mode at 10 mW/cm2 (3 h/day, 30 days) led to significant alterations in molecular markers associated with adaptive stress-response in rat skin. Furthermore, systematic scientific studies on more prevalent pulsed-mode of MW-radiation exposure for prolonged duration are warranted.

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Saurabh Verma, Gaurav K. Keshri, Santanu Karmakar, Kumar Vyonkesh Mani, Satish Chauhan, Anju Yadav, Manish Sharma, and Asheesh Gupta "Effects of Microwave 10 GHz Radiation Exposure in the Skin of Rats: An Insight on Molecular Responses," Radiation Research 196(4), 404-416, (18 August 2021). https://doi.org/10.1667/RADE-20-00155.1
Received: 24 June 2020; Accepted: 6 August 2021; Published: 18 August 2021
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