EMF Health-effects Research

Radiofrequency radiation does not induce stress response in human T-lymphocytes and rat primary astrocytes.

Lee JS, Huang TQ, Kim TH, Kim JY, Kim HJ, Pack JK, Seo JS.

Bioelectromagnetics. 27(7):578-588, 2006

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are rapidly induced by a variety of stressors, including heat shock, ethanol, heavy metals, UV, and gamma-radiation. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are also involved in the stress transduction pathways in all eukaryotes. In this study, we attempted to determine whether radiofrequency (RF) radiation is able to induce a non-thermal stress response.

Human T-lymphocyte Jurkat cells and rat primary astrocytes were exposed to 1763 MHz of RF radiation at an average specific absorption rate (SAR) of either 2 W/kg or 20 W/kg, for 30 min or 1 h. Temperature was completely controlled at 37 +/- 0.2 degrees C throughout the exposure period. The sham exposures were performed under exactly identical experimental conditions without exposure to RF radiation.

We assessed alterations in the expression of HSPs and the activation of MAPKs in the RF-exposed cells.

No detectable difference was observed in the expression levels of HSP90, HSP70, and HSP27. The phosphorylation status of MAPKs, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal protein kinases (JNK1/2), or p38, did not change significantly. In order to determine whether RF radiation can promote the effects of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) on stress response, cells were exposed to RF radiation coupled with TPA treatment. When TPA alone was applied, the MAPKs were found to be phosphorylated in a dose-dependent manner. However, RF radiation did not result in any enhancement of TPA-induced MAPK phosphorylation. Neither TPA nor RF radiation exerted any detectable effect on the induction of HSPs.

These results indicate that 1763 MHz RF radiation alone did not elicit any stress response, nor did it have any effect on TPA-induced MAPK phosphorylation, under our experimental conditions.

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