The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Effect of 2.45 GHz Microwave Radiation on the Inner Ear: A Histopathological Study on 2.45 GHz Microwave Radiation and Cochlea


Department of Otolaryngology, Ondokuz Mayıs University, School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey


Department of Biophysics, Ondokuz Mayıs University, School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey


Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Vocational Health Service, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey


Department of Electrical and Electronical Engineering, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Engineering, Samsun, Turkey

J Int Adv Otol 2024; 20: 35-43
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2024.231142
Read: 640 Downloads: 220 Published: 01 February 2024

BACKGROUND: The present study aims to determine the possible low dose-dependent adverse effects of 2.45 GHz microwave exposure and Wi-Fi frequency on the cochlea.

METHODS: Twelve pregnant female rats (n=12) and their male newborns were exposed to Wi-Fi frequencies with varying electric field values of 0.6, 1.9, 5, 10 V/m, and 15 V/m during the 21-day gestation period and 45 days after birth, except for the control group. Auditory brainstem response testing was performed before exposure and sacrification. After removal of the cochlea, histopathological examination was conducted by immunohistochemistry methods using caspase (cysteine-aspartic proteases, cysteine aspartates, or cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases)-3, -9, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL). Kruskal–Wallis and Wilcoxon tests and multivariate analysis of variance were used.

RESULTS: Auditory brainstem response thresholds in postexposure tests increased statistically significantly at 5 V/m and above doses. When the number of apoptotic cells was compared in immunohistochemistry examination, significant differences were found at 10 V/m and 15 V/m doses (F(5,15)=23.203, P=.001; Pillai’s trace=1.912, η2=0.637). As the magnitude of the electric field increased, all histopathological indicators of apoptosis increased. The most significant effect was noted on caspase-9 staining (η2 c9=0.996), followed by caspase-3 (η2 c3=0.991), and TUNEL staining (η2 t=0.801). Caspase-3, caspase-9, and TUNEL-stained cell densities increased directly by increasing the electric field and power values.

CONCLUSION: Apoptosis and immune activity in the cochlea depend on the electric field and power value. Even at low doses, the electromagnetic field in Wi-Fi frequency damages the inner ear and causes apoptosis.

Cite this article as: Tahir E, Akar Karadayı A, Gürgen SG, Korunur Engiz B, Turgut A. Effect of 2.45 GHz microwave radiation on the inner ear: A histopathological study.2.45 GHz microwave radiation and cochlea. J Int Adv Otol. 2024;20(1):35-43.

EISSN 2148-3817