EMF Health-effects Research

Cell death induced by GSM 900-MHz and DCS 1800-MHz mobile telephony radiation,

Panagopoulos DJ, Chavdoula ED, Nezis IP, Margaritis LH

Mutat Res, Oct 10; 2006

[Epub ahead of print]

In the present study, the TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotide transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling) assay - a well known technique widely used for detecting fragmented DNA in various types of cells - was used to detect cell death (DNA fragmentation) in a biological model, the early and mid stages of oogenesis of the insect Drosophila melanogaster.

The flies were exposed in vivo to either GSM 900-MHz (Global System for Mobile telecommunications) or DCS 1800-MHz (Digital Cellular System) radiation from a common digital mobile phone, for few minutes per day during the first 6 days of their adult life.

The exposure conditions were similar to those to which a mobile phone user is exposed, and were determined according to previous studies of ours [D.J. Panagopoulos, A. Karabarbounis, L.H. Margaritis, Effect of GSM 900-MHz mobile phone radiation on the reproductive capacity of D. melanogaster, Electromagn. Biol. Med. 23 (1) (2004) 29-43; D.J. Panagopoulos, N. Messini, A. Karabarbounis, A.L. Philippetis, L.H. Margaritis, Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation within "safety levels" alters the physiological function of insects, in: P. Kostarakis, P. Stavroulakis (Eds.), Proceedings of the Millennium International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 17-20, 2000, pp. 169-175, ISBN: 960-86733-0-5; D.J. Panagopoulos, L.H. Margaritis, Effects of electromagnetic fields on the reproductive capacity of D. melanogaster, in: P. Stavroulakis (Ed.), Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Springer, 2003, pp. 545-578], which had shown a large decrease in the oviposition of the same insect caused by GSM radiation.

Our present results suggest that the decrease in oviposition previously reported, is due to degeneration of large numbers of egg chambers after DNA fragmentation of their constituent cells, induced by both types of mobile telephony radiation.

Induced cell death is recorded for the first time, in all types of cells constituting an egg chamber (follicle cells, nurse cells and the oocyte) and in all stages of the early and mid-oogenesis, from germarium to stage 10, during which programmed cell death does not physiologically occur. Germarium and stages 7-8 were found to be the most sensitive developmental stages also in response to electromagnetic stress induced by the GSM and DCS fields and, moreover, germarium was found to be even more sensitive than stages 7-8.

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