Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Apoptosis is Induced by Radiofrequency Fields through the Caspase-Independent Mitochondrial Pathway in Cortical Neurons med./bio.

Published in: Radiat Res 2008; 169 (1): 38-45

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether continuous wave radiofrequency fields induce neuron apoptosis in vitro (in rat neuronal primary cultures).

Background/further details

During exposure a temperature increase of 2°C was measured in the medium; control experiments with neurons exposed to 39°C were then performed. Staurosporine was used as positive control.
The pathways leading to apoptosis may be dependent on or independent of caspases and in the caspase-independent apoptosis pathway, DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation are triggered by the apoptosis-inducing factor.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: continuous for 24 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 24 h
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • wire-patch cell (WPC) [see reference articles]
Chamber Cells plated in 35-mm Petri dishes in 2 ml of medium were placed inside an incubator at 37°C with 95% air and 5% CO2 for at least 2 h before exposure.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info In each experiment, dishes from the same cell culture were simultaneously RF or sham exposed in the same incubator or subjected to 37°C (control) or 39°C (heat control) in additional incubators.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg - calculated - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A statistically significant difference (increase) in the apoptosis rate was found in the radiofrequency exposed neurons compared to the sham exposed, 37°C and 39°C exposed neurons either immediately or 24 h after exposure.
No increase in the caspase 3 enzyme activity was found, whereas the percentage of AIF-positive nuclei in irradiated neurons was increased by three- to sevenfold compared to other conditions.
The data show that exposure of primary rat neurons to continuous wave radiofrequency fields may induce a caspase-independent pathway to apoptosis that involves apoptosis-inducing factor.

Study character:

Study funded by

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