EMF Health-effects Research

Microwave exposure induces Hsp70 and confers protection against hypoxia in chick embryos

Shallom JM, Di Carlo AL, Ko D, Penafiel LM, Nakai A, Litovitz TA

J Cell Biochem 86(3):490-496, 2002

To determine if microwave exposure could elicit a biological effect in the absence of thermal stress, studies were designed in which chick embryos were exposed to athermal microwave radiation (915 MHz) to look for induction of Hsp70, a protein produced during times of cellular stress that aids in the protection of cellular components.

Levels of Hsp70 were found to increase within 2 h, with maximum expression (approximately 30% higher than controls) typically occurring by 3 h from the start of exposure. Other embryos were exposed to microwave radiation prior to being subjected to hypoxic stress, and were found to have significantly higher survival (P < 0.05) following re-oxygenation than non-exposed controls.

The results of these studies indicate that not only can athermal microwave exposures activate the stress protein response pathway; they can also enhance survivability following exposure to a subsequent, potentially lethal stress. From a public health standpoint, it is important that more studies be performed to determine if repeated exposures, a condition likely to be found in cell phone use, are still beneficial.

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