EMF Health-effects Research

In vitro lymphocyte proliferation induced by radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation under isothermal conditions.

Cleary SF, Liu LM, Merchant RE,

Bioelectromagnetics 11(1):47-56, 1990

Whole human blood was exposed or sham-exposed in vitro for 2 h to 27 or 2,450 MHz radio-frequency electromagnetic (RF) radiation under isothermal conditions (i.e., 37 +/- 0.2 degrees C). Immediately after exposure, mononuclear cells were separated from blood by Ficoll density-gradient centrifugation and cultured for 3 days at 37 degrees C with or without mitogenic stimulation by phytohemagglutinin (PHA).

Lymphocyte proliferation was assayed at the end of the culture period by 6 h of pulse labeling with 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR).

Exposure to radiation at either frequency at specific absorption rates (SARs) below 50 W/kg resulted in a dose-dependent, statistically significant increase of 3H-TdR uptake in PHA-activated or unstimulated lymphocytes. Exposure at 50 W/kg or higher suppressed 3H-TdR uptake relative to that of sham-exposed cells. There were no detectable effects of RF radiation on lymphocyte morphology or viability.

Notwithstanding the characteristic temperature dependence of lymphocyte activation in vitro, the isothermal exposure conditions of this study warrant the conclusion that the biphasic, dose-dependent effects of the radiation on lymphocyte proliferation were not dependent on heating.

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