EMF Health-effects Research

Global gene response to GSM 1800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field in MCF-7 cells,

Wang LL, Chen GD, Lu DQ, Chiang H, Xu ZP,

Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi, 40(3):159-163, 2006

[Article in Chinese]

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether GSM 1800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) can change the gene expression profile in MCF-7 cells and to screen RF EMF responsive genes.

METHODS: Subcultured MCF-7 cells were intermittently (5-minute fields on/10-minute fields off) exposed or sham-exposed to GSM 1800 MHz RF EMF, which was modulated by 217 Hz EMF, for 24 hours at an average specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2.0 W/kg or 3.5 W/kg.

Immediately after RF EMF exposure or sham-exposure, total RNA was isolated from MCF-7 cells and then purified. Affymetrix Human Genome U133A Genechip was applied to examine the change of gene expression profile according to the manufacturer's instruction. Data was analyzed by Affymetrix Microarray Suite 5.0 (MAS 5.0) and Affymetrix Data Mining Tool 3.0 (DMT 3.0). Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to validate the differentially expressed genes identified by Genechip analysis.

RESULTS: A small number of differential expression genes were found in each comparison after RF EMF exposure. Through reproducible and consistent analysis, no gene or five up-regulated genes were screened out after exposure to RF EMF at SAR of 2.0 W/kg or 3.5 W/kg, respectively. However, these five genes could not be further confirmed by RT-PCR.

CONCLUSION: The present study did not provide clear evidence that RF EMF exposure might distinctly change the gene expression profile in MCF-7 cells under current experimental conditions, implying that the exposure might not affect the MCF-7 cell physiology, or this cell line might be less sensitive to the RF EMF exposure.

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