Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study, review/survey)

Cellular effects of electromagnetic fields. med./bio.

Published in: Altern Lab Anim 2004; 32 (4): 355-360

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of 50 Hz extremely low frequency magnetic fields (caused by power lines and electric devices) and 872 MHz or 900 MHz radiofrequency fields (emitted by mobile phones and their base stations) on cellular ornithine decarboxylase activity, cell cycle kinetics, cell proliferation, and necrotic or apoptotic cell death.

Background/further details

UV radiation, serum deprivation, or fresh medium addition were used as co-exposures.
The study summarizes previous published (see publication 10487 and publication 6742) and unpublished data of the authors work on different cell culture systems and compares the results to those of similar other studies.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 to 24 h
  • SAR: 6 W/kg maximum (0.2-6 W/kg)
Exposure 2: 900 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 to 24 h
  • SAR: 6 W/kg maximum (0.2-6 W/kg)
Exposure 3: 872 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 to 24 h
  • SAR: 6 W/kg maximum (0.2-6 W/kg)
Exposure 4: 872 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 to 24 h
  • SAR: 6 W/kg maximum (0.2-6 W/kg)
Exposure 5: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 7 h

General information

UV radiation, serum deprivation, or fresh medium addition were used as co-exposures.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Polarization
  • unspecified
Exposure duration continuous for 1 to 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

GSM modulator

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber The exposure chamber was an aluminium RF resonator with a plastic culture chamber and a water circulation heat exchanger positioned under a glass surface on which the cell culture dishes were placed. RF power was fed into the exposure chamber with a monopole post. Two identical chambers were used, one for EMF and one for sham exposure. Warm air (37°C) and CO2 (5%) were fed into the chambers from an incubator.
Setup Glass instead of plastic Petri dishes were used for better thermal contact.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info A temperature adjustment curve was used to keep the measured temperature of the cell culture medium constant (± 0.3°C) at SAR values up to 6 W/kg.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg maximum measured and calculated - 0.2-6 W/kg

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Polarization
  • unspecified
Exposure duration continuous for 1 to 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg maximum measured and calculated - 0.2-6 W/kg

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 872 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Polarization
  • unspecified
Exposure duration continuous for 1 to 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

GSM modulator

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg maximum measured and calculated - 0.2-6 W/kg

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency 872 MHz
Type
Charakteristic
  • guided field
Polarization
  • unspecified
Exposure duration continuous for 1 to 24 h
Modulation
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 6 W/kg maximum measured and calculated - 0.2-6 W/kg

Exposure 5

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration continuous for 7 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Chamber wooden exposure system [Markkanen et al., 2001]
Additional info Cells were irradiated by UVB for 10 min at a dose of 175 J/m² and a dose rate of 0.292 J/m² per second during the MF exposure which continued to the end of the experiment. This exposure setup was also used to expose cells to UV radiation in UV + RF experiments.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 120 µT - - - ± 5 µT

Reference articles

  • Markkanen A et al. (2001): Effects of 50 Hz magnetic field on cell cycle kinetics and the colony forming ability of budding yeast exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data on cell cycle kinetics suggest different delay times in "UV + magnetic field"-exposed yeast cells compared with UV-only exposed yeast cells. Magnetic field exposure may slow down the recovery of yeast cells from growth delay caused by UV damage.
There were no clear effects of radiofrequency exposure alone on ornithine decarboxylase activities, although there seemed to be cell type specificity.
Cell proliferation induced by medium change was slightly increased by radiofrequency irradiation. Additionally, a GSM-modulated radiofrequency increased UV-induced apoptosis in yeast cells (this effect seemed to be modulation specific).
In conclusion, magnetic fields and radiofrequency fields seem to have some effects on cellular growth and cell death mechanisms. These effects are clearly revealed only when cells are co-exposed with a known damaging agent.

Study character:

Study funded by

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