This study was designed to determine whether two differently modulated radiofrequencies of the type generally used in cellular phone communications could elicit a general stress response in a biological system. The two modulations and frequencies studied were a frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) with a carrier frequency of 835.62 MHz and a code division multiple-access (CDMA) modulation centered on 847.74 MHz. Changes in proto- oncogene expression, determined by measuring Fos, Jun, and Myc mRNA levels as well as by the DNA-binding activity of the AP1, AP2 and NF-κB transcription factors, were used as indicators of a general stress response. The effect of radiofrequency exposure on proto-oncogene expression was assessed (1) in exponentially growing C3H 10T 1/2 mouse embryo fibroblasts during their transition to plateau phase and (2) during transition of serum-deprived cells to the proliferation cycle after serum stimulation. Exposure of serum- deprived cells to 835.62 MHz FMCW or 847.74 MHz CDMA microwaves (at an average specific absorption rate, SAR, of 0.6 W/kg) did not significantly change the kinetics of proto-oncogene expression after serum stimulation. Similarly, these exposures did not affect either the Jun and Myc mRNA levels or the DNA-binding activity of AP1, AP2 and NF-κB in exponential cells during transit to plateau-phase growth. Therefore, these results suggest that the radiofrequency exposure is unlikely to elicit a general stress response in cells of this cell line under these conditions. However, statistically significant increases (~2-fold, P = 0.001) in Fos mRNA levels were detected in exponential cells in transit to the plateau phase and in plateau-phase cells exposed to 835.62 MHz FMCW microwaves. For 847.74 MHz CDMA exposure, the increase was 1.4-fold (P = 0.04). This increase in Fos expression suggests that expression of specific genes could be affected by radiofrequency exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging