EMF Health-effects Research

Effects on protein kinase C and gene expression in a human mast cell line, HMC-1, following microwave exposure.

Harvey C, French PW

Cell Biol Int 23(11):739-748, 2000

We used a resonant cavity which delivered a continuous wave exposure at 864.3 MHz at an average specific absorption rate (SAR) of 7 W/kg to determine non-thermal biological effects of microwave exposure. A human mast cell line, HMC-1, was used as the biological target.

Cells were given three exposures each of 20-min duration daily for 7 days. The temperature of the cell culture medium during the exposure fell to 26.5 degrees C.

Effects were seen on localization of protein kinase C, and expression of three genes of 588 screened. The affected genes included the proto-oncogene c-kit, the transcription factor Nucleoside diphosphate kinase B and the apoptosis-associated gene DAD-1. Stress response genes were variably upregulated. No significant effect on morphology or on F-actin distribution was detected.

We conclude that low-power microwave exposure may act on HMC-1 cells by altering gene expression via a mechanism involving activation of protein kinase C, and at temperatures well below those known to induce a heat shock response.

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