EMF Health-effects Research

Human skin cell stress response to GSM-900 mobile phone signals,

Sanchez S, Milochau A, Ruffie G, Poulletier de Gannes F, Lagroye I, Haro E, Surleve-Bazeille JE, Billaudel B, Lassegues M, Veyret B

FEBS J, Nov 9; 2006

[Epub ahead of print]

In recent years, possible health hazards due to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by mobile phones have been investigated.

Because several publications have suggested that RFR is stressful, we explored the potential biological effects of Global System for Mobile phone communication at 900 MHz (GSM-900) exposure on cultures of isolated human skin cells and human reconstructed epidermis (hRE) using human keratinocytes.

As cell stress markers, we studied Hsc70, Hsp27 and Hsp70 heat shock protein (HSP) expression and epidermis thickness, as well as cell proliferation and apoptosis.

Cells were exposed to GSM-900 under optimal culture conditions, for 48 h, using a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2 W.kg(-1). This SAR level represents the recommended limit for local exposure to a mobile phone. The various biological parameters were analysed immediately after exposure.

Apoptosis was not induced in isolated cells and there was no alteration in hRE thickness or proliferation. No change in HSP expression was observed in isolated keratinocytes. By contrast, a slight but significant increase in Hsp70 expression was observed in hREs after 3 and 5 weeks of culture. Moreover, fibroblasts showed a significant decrease in Hsc70, depending on the culture conditions.

These results suggest that adaptive cell behaviour in response to RFR exposure, depending on the cell type and culture conditions, is unlikely to have deleterious effects at the skin level.

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