Effects of microwave radiation on brain energy metabolism and related mechanisms

The essay is centered on microwave (MW) radiation effects on brain metabolism that it supposes to be mediated through mitochondrial dysfunction and the reduction of the generated ATP.

In mitochondria MW causes structural damage, with experiments that show that they are swollen and vacuolated, with cristae that were disordered and fewer in number, and rxists a general mitochondrial degeneration demonstrated by myelin-like structures and occasional dense deposits. Also there are dysfunctions in the mitochondrial energy metabolism with a reduction in mitochondrial ATP synthesis, decreased succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity and suppressed cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity (two of the key enzymes of mitochondrial energy metabolism).

It also reviews abnormal expression of the genes encoding the respiratory chain that results in brain energy metabolism disorders.

" [after radiation, gene expression] upregulated: syn1, ptprj, CD74 and MHCII; downregulated: ttr, enpp2, folr1, cdh22, spata2, spp1, calb2, tacl and dnpi), some of which (syn1, ttr and enpp2) are closely related to the metabolic function of mitochondria." {Credits 1}

" MW radiation downregulates the COX I gene encoded by mitochondrial DNA in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of rats in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that the changes in gene expression caused by MW radiation are important factors in mitochondrial dysfunction and brain energy failure." {Credits 1}

And damaged mitochondrial membrane:

" The structural damage of the mitochondrial membrane is one of the most important mechanisms of MW radiation-induced disturbance of brain energy metabolism. Mitochondria are organelles wrapped by a double membrane, with the inner membrane forming cristae, which increase the surface area of the mitochondrial membrane greatly. As biofilms are targets of electromagnetic radiation [41], it can be inferred that the structural characteristics of mitochondria determine its high sensitivity to MW radiation-induced injury." {Credits 1}

And also affects mitochondrial DNA:

" MW radiation can break mtDNA or change the expression of mtDNA, resulting in decreased ATP production." {Credits 1}

{Credits 1} 🎪 Hao, Y., Zhao, L. & Peng, R. Effects of microwave radiation on brain energy metabolism and related mechanisms. Military Med Res 2, 4 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40779-015-0033-6. © 2015 Hao et al. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Last modified on 15-Mar-16

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