Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

1950 MHz IMT-2000 field does not activate microglial cells in vitro med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2010; 31 (2): 104-112

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate whether exposure to a 1950 MHz W-CDMA radiofrequency field induces activation of microglial cells at the exposure limit of the average whole-body SAR levels of up to 2 W/kg, changes in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II expression and cytokine production in microglial cells were evaluated.

Background/further details

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II is considered the most common marker for activated microglial cells in vivo and in vitro.
Primary cultures of microglial cells (= immune cells of central nervous system) were prepared from neonatal rats. After exposure, the cell cultures were transferred to an incubator and maintained for 24 or 72 h. Positive control cells were treated with lipopolysaccharide or interferon-gamma.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.95 GHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 hr

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.95 GHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 hr
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup culture cases placed in the anechoic chamber
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 25 W - - - -
SAR 0.2 W/kg mean calculated - -
SAR 0.8 W/kg mean calculated - -
SAR 2 W/kg mean calculated - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Exposure to W-CDMA radiofrequency fields (at SAR values of 0.2, 0.8, and 2.0 W/kg) failed to induce MHC class II expression in microglial cells. Furthermore, no increase in production of cytokines in the cell cultures following exposure were observed.
Based on these results, the authors conclude that radiofrequency field exposure does not affect or activate microglial cells in the brain and that exposure to radiofrequency fields may not function as a direct signal of microglial activation.

Study character:

Study funded by

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