Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

A 1.8-GHz radiofrequency radiation induces EGF receptor clustering and phosphorylation in cultured human amniotic (FL) cells. med./bio.

Published in: Int J Radiat Biol 2012; 88 (3): 239-244

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of exposure to a 1.8 GHz radiofrequency electromagnetic field on epidermal growth factor receptor cluster formation (as initial process for signal transduction) and phosphorylation in human amniotic cells.

Background/further details

EGF treatment (100 ng/ml) served as positive control.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1.8 GHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 15 min
  • SAR: 4 W/kg maximum (0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 W/kg)

General information

cells were treated in the following groups: i) positive control - treated with 100 ng/ml EGF ii) sham EMF exposure iii) EMF exposure

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1.8 GHz
Exposure duration continuous for 15 min
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 0.576 ms
Duty cycle 12.5 %
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Pulse type rectangular
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup waveguides placed inside an incubator with constant temperature of 37°C; six petri dishes with monolayers of cells placed on a dish holder in the H-field maximum of the standing wave inside the waveguide and were simultaneously exposed to E-polarization
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 4 W/kg maximum - - 0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 W/kg

Reference articles

  • Diem E et al. (2005): Non-thermal DNA breakage by mobile-phone radiation (1800 MHz) in human fibroblasts and in transformed GFSH-R17 rat granulosa cells in vitro.
  • Schönborn F et al. (2001): Basis for optimization of in vitro exposure apparatus for health hazard evaluations of mobile communications.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed that, compared with sham exposure, radiofrequency exposure at specific absorption rate of 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 W/kg for 15 minutes significantly induced EGF receptor clustering and enhanced phosphorylation on the tyrosine-1173 residue in amniotic cells, whereas exposure to a SAR of 0.1 W/kg did not cause a significant effect. However, the results showed also that there was no additional significant increase in effects at intensities higher than 0.5 W/kg.
Based on these findings, the authors conclude that membrane receptors could be one of the main targets that radiofrequency exposure interacts with cells, and the dose-rate threshold, in the case of EGF receptors, is between SAR of 0.1 and 0.5 W/kg.

Study character:

Study funded by

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