EMF Health-effects Research

Membrane potential and currents of isolated heart muscle cells exposed to pulsed radio frequency fields.

Linz KW, von Westphalen C, Streckert J, Hansen V, Meyer R

Bioelectromagnetics 20(8):497-511, 1999

The influence of radio frequency (RF) fields of 180, 900, and 1800 MHz on the membrane potential, action potential, L-type Ca(2+) current and potassium currents of isolated ventricular myocytes was tested. The study is based on 90 guinea-pig myocytes and 20 rat myocytes. The fields were applied in rectangular waveguides (1800 MHz at 80, 480, 600, 720, or 880 mW/kg and 900 MHz, 250 mW/kg) or in a TEM-cell (180 MHz, 80 mW/kg and 900 MHz, 15 mW/kg).

Fields of 1800 and 900 MHz were pulsed according to the GSM-standard of cellular phones. The specific absorption rates were determined from computer simulations of the electromagnetic fields inside the exposure devices by considering the structure of the physiological test arrangement.

The electrical membrane parameters were measured by whole cell patch-clamp. None of the tested electrophysiological parameters was changed significantly by exposure to RF fields. Another physical stimulus, lowering the temperature from 36 degrees C to 24 degrees C, decreased the current amplitude almost 50% and shifted the voltage dependence of the steady state activation parameter d(infinity) and inactivation parameter f(infinity) of L-type Ca(2+) current by about 5 mV. However, at this lower temperature RF effects (900 MHz, 250 mW/kg; 1800 MHz, 480 mW/kg) on L-type Ca(2+) current were also not detected.

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