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We investigated the potential effects of 30 min irradiation from a mobile telecommunication system. 60 pregnant rats divided to three groups; the first serve as the control (G1, n = 20), the second (G2, n = 20) and third (G3, n = 20) were exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from 1st to 20th (G2) and from 7th to 16th (G3) day of gestation respectively. The implantation sites, corpora lutea, living, dead and reabsorbed fetuses were counted and recorded. Liver of pregnant rats and their fetuses were used to isolate a total RNA for quantification of Msx1 and Cx43 genes. Our result shows that abortion and partial abortion rate increased in G2 (30 and 25%) and G3 (10 and 20%) compared to 5 and 0% in G1. The body weights and fetal body length of fetuses were decreased in treated groups. Skeletal system abnormalities included short and curved tails absent of 13th rib and wavy ribs and absent of caudal vertebrae were observed in G2 and G3 compared to G1. The lowest relative expression of Ms x 1 and Cx43 (0.6 and 0.2) were found in from exposed mothers. Slight difference was found in the expression level between the exposed mothers (G2 and G3) compared to the control group (G1). This study suggests that exposure to EM fields during pregnancy could alter some morphological and physiological parameters and gene expression in pregnant rats and their fetuses.
Key words: Mobile signals, pregnancy, rats, fetus, physiological parameters, reproduction, skeletal system, gene expression