Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Human skin cell stress response to GSM-900 mobile phone signals. In vitro study on isolated primary cells and reconstructed epidermis med./bio.

Published in: FEBS J 2006; 273 (24): 5491-5507

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To explore the effects of 900 MHz GSM radiofrequency exposure on human skin in vitro.

Background/further details

Cell cultures of isolated human skin cells and human reconstructed epidermis using human keratinocytes were exposed.
Cells exposed to UV-B radiation represented the positive controls.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 48 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 48 h
Modulation type pulsed
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Additional info

GSM protocol

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber The antenna was surrounded by a foam-rubber ring and placed in a cell-culture incubator maintained at 37 ± 0.1 °C.
Setup The antenna contained eight 35-mm Petri dishes filled with 3.2 ml of medium, each placed at the centre of a 60-mm diameter Petri dish filled with 5 ml of water.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info A twin incubator with an inactive antenna was used for sham exposure. UVB radiation was used as a positive control at 600 mJ/cm² and 200 mJ/cm² single doses with Petri dishes or 24-well plates.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg mean calculated - -
SAR 16 W/kg peak value calculated - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The radiofrequency exposure did not induce apoptosis in the isolated cells and there was no alteration in the human reconstructed epidermis thickness or cell proliferation.
There was no change observed in the heat shock protein expression in the isolated keratinocytes. By contrast, a slight but significant increase in the Hsp70 expression was observed in the human reconstructed epidermis after 3 and 5 weeks of culture. Moreover, the fibroblasts showed a significant decrease in the Hsc70 expression, depending on the cell culture conditions.
These data indicate that adaptive cell behaviour in response to radiofrequency exposure, depending on the cell type and cell culture conditions, is unlikely to have deleterious effects at the skin level.

Study character:

Study funded by

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