Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of high-frequency electromagnetic fields on trophoblastic connexins med./bio.

Published in: Reprod Toxicol 2009; 28 (1): 59-65

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on connexin gene expression and protein expression, as well as connexin localization and ultrastructural cell features in gestational tissue (trophoblast cell line).

Background/further details

Connexins are membrane proteins that are able to influence the trophoblast functions.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1,817 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h
  • SAR: 2 W/kg average over time

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1,817 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Pulse type rectangular
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two 128.5 mm x 65 mm x 424 mm brass single mode waveguide resonators; petri dishes kept on plastic holders inside the resonators at the H-field maximum of the standing wave
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 2 W/kg average over time measured - -

Reference articles

  • Valbonesi P et al. (2008): Evaluation of HSP70 expression and DNA damage in cells of a human trophoblast cell line exposed to 1.8 GHz amplitude-modulated radiofrequency fields
  • Schuderer J et al. (2004): High Peak SAR Exposure Unit With Tight Exposure and Environmental Control for In Vitro Experiments at 1800 MHz

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Radiofrequency exposure significantly and selectively increased gene expression of connexin 40 and connexin 43, without altering protein expression. Nevertheless, connexin 40 and connexin 43 lost their punctate fluorescence within the cell membrane (compared to sham exposed cells), becoming diffuse after exposure. Thus, localization of connexin 40 and connexin 43 was significantly changed following exposure. Electron microscopy evidenced a sharp decrease in intercellular gap junction-like structures. Cell viability and cell functionality were not significantly influenced by electromagnetic field exposure.
The data indicate that exposure of extravillous trophoblast to GSM-217 Hz signals can modify connexin gene expression, connexin protein localization and cellular ultrastructure.

Study character:

Study funded by

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