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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields on Thermal Sensitivity in the Rat

1
Unité de Toxicologie Expérimentale, Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques, 60550, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France
2
Unité mixte PERITOX UMI-01 INERIS CHU Amiens-Picardie Hôpital Sud, 80480 Salouël, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207563
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 24 September 2020 / Accepted: 10 October 2020 / Published: 18 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Environmental Exposure)
The World Health Organization and the French Health Safety Agency (ANSES) recognize that the expressed pain and suffering of electromagnetic field hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS) people are a lived reality requiring daily life adaptations to cope. Mechanisms involving glutamatergic N-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors were not explored yet, despite their possible role in hypersensitivity to chemicals. Here, we hypothesized that radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposures may affect pain perception under a modulatory role played by the NMDA receptor. The rats were exposed to RF-EMF for four weeks (five times a week, at 0 (sham), 1.5 or 6 W/kg in restraint) or were cage controls (CC). Once a week, they received an NMDA or saline injection before being scored for their preference between two plates in the two-temperatures choice test: 50 °C (thermal nociception) versus 28 °C. Results in the CC and the sham rats indicated that latency to escape from heat was significantly reduced by −45% after NMDA, compared to saline treatment. Heat avoidance was significantly increased by +40% in the 6 W/kg, compared to the sham exposed groups. RF-EMF effect was abolished after NMDA treatment. In conclusion, heat avoidance was higher after high brain-averaged specific absorption rate, affording further support for possible effect of RF-EMF on pain perception. Further studies need to be performed to confirm these data. View Full-Text
Keywords: electromagnetic fields; radiofrequency; thermal preference; nociception; restraint; stress-induced analgesia electromagnetic fields; radiofrequency; thermal preference; nociception; restraint; stress-induced analgesia
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Ouadah, N.S.; Blazy, K.; Villégier, A.-S. Effect of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields on Thermal Sensitivity in the Rat. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7563.

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