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Recent reports have indicated that microwave radiation can produce effects on a variety of cell types in vitro. To determine whether microwave radiation might be neurotoxic, the effects of microwave radiation on synapsin I have been examined. Synapsin I is a neuron-specific phosphoprotein that is present in all neurons, where it is localized to the presynaptic terminal and is associated with synaptic vesicles. O'Callaghan and Miller have demonstrated that studies of such neuron-specific proteins can provide reliable indices of neurotoxicity. We have used a radioimmunoassay for synapsin I to determine whether microwave irradiation has any effect on the levels of synapsin I. Neither acute nor chronic exposure to microwave irradiation had any detectable effect on synapsin I levels. We have also examined the calcium-dependent phosphorylation of synapsin I in synaptosomes isolated from rats that had been subjected to microwave radiation. The phosphorylation of synapsin I in synaptosomes reflects numerous components of the presynaptic aspect of neuronal transmission. At intensities below that required to produce mild hyperthermia, no effects of microwave irradiation were seen on synapsin I phosphorylation.


Journal article


Neurotoxicol Teratol

Publication Date





461 - 464


Animals, Cerebral Cortex, Microwaves, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Phosphoproteins, Phosphorylation, Rats, Reference Values, Synapsins, Synaptosomes