EMF Health-effects Research

Effects of 1,8GHz radiofrequency field on DNA damage and expression of heat shock protein 70 in human lens epithelial cells,

Lixia S, Yao K, Kaijun W, Deqiang L, Huajun H, Xiangwei G, Baohong W, Wei Z, Jianling L, Wei W

Mutat Res, Sep 29; 2006

[Epub ahead of print]

To investigate the DNA damage, expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and cell proliferation of human lens epithelial cells (hLEC) after exposure to the 1.8GHz radiofrequency field (RF) of a global system for mobile communications (GSM).

An Xc-1800 RF exposure system was used to employ a GSM signal at 1.8GHz (217Hz amplitude-modulated) with the output power in the specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1, 2 and 3W/kg.

After 2h exposure to RF, the DNA damage of hLEC was accessed by comet assay at five different incubation times: 0, 30, 60, 120 and 240min, respectively. Western blot and RT-PCR were used to determine the expression of Hsp70 in hLECs after RF exposure.

The proliferation rate of cells was evaluated by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation on days 0, 1 and 4 after exposure. The results show that the difference of DNA-breaks between the exposed and sham-exposed (control) groups induced by 1 and 2W/kg irradiation were not significant at any incubation time point (P>0.05). The DNA damage caused by 3W/kg irradiation was significantly increased at the times of 0 and 30min after exposure (P<0.05), a phenomenon that could not be seen at the time points of 60, 120 or 240min (P>0.05).

Detectable mRNA as well as protein expression of Hsp70 was found in all groups. Exposure at SARs of 2 and 3W/kg for 2h exhibited significantly increased Hsp70 protein expression (P<0.05), while no change in Hsp70 mRNA expression could be found in any of the groups (P>0.05).

No difference of the cell proliferation rate between the sham-exposed and exposed cells was found at any exposure dose tested (P>0.05).

The results indicate that exposure to non-thermal dosages of RF for wireless communications can induce no or repairable DNA damage and the increased Hsp70 protein expression in hLECs occurred without change in the cell proliferation rate. The non-thermal stress response of Hsp70 protein increase to RF exposure might be involved in protecting hLEC from DNA damage and maintaining the cellular capacity for proliferation.

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