EMF Health-effects Research

No apoptosis is induced in rat cortical neurons exposed to GSM phone fields,

Joubert V, Leveque P, Cueille M, Bourthoumieu S, Yardin C

Bioelectromagnetics, Sep 26; 2006

[Epub ahead of print]

The aim of this study was to investigate the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) effects on neuronal apoptosis in vitro. Primary cultured neurons from cortices of embryonic

Wistar rats were exposed to a 900-MHz global system for mobile communication (GSM) RF field for 24 h in a wire-patch cell. The average-specific absorption rate (SAR) used was 0.25 W/kg.

Apoptosis rate was assessed immediately or 24 h after exposure using three methods: (i) DAPI staining; (ii) flow cytometry using double staining with TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and propidium iodide (PI); and (iii) measurement of caspase-3 activity by fluorimetry.

No statistically significant difference in the apoptosis rate was observed between controls and 24 h GSM-exposed neurons, either 0 h or 24 h post-exposure. All three methods used to assess apoptosis were concordant.

These results showed that, under the conditions of experiment used, GSM-exposure does not significantly increase the apoptosis rate in rat primary neuronal cultures. This work is in accordance with other studies performed on cell lines and, to our knowledge, is the first one performed on cultured cortical neurons.

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