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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Proteomic analysis on the alteration of protein expression in the early-stage placental villous tissue of electromagnetic fields associated with cell phone exposure.

Published in: Reprod Sci 2013; 20 (9): 1055-1061

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To investigate the possible changes induced by the exposure to a radiofrequency electromagnetic field in protein expression profile in human chorionic villous tissue (part of the placenta) of early pregnancy.
Background/further details: The women, gestational age about 50-60 days, were randomly divided into an exposure and a control group. After 20 minutes of exposure, an abortion was performed and the chorionic villous tissue was taken through the cervix. Tissue, collected from 6 exposed women and from 6 control women, was taken for proteome analysis.
The women underwent terminations of the pregnancies for psychological reasons.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 20 min. (according to "materials and methods" section) or 1 h (according to abstract)?
  • power density density: 1 mW/cm² minimum
  • power density density: 40 mW/cm² maximum
  • SAR: 1.46 W/kg (according to "materials and methods" section)
  • SAR: 1.6 W/kg minimum (according to "abstract")
  • SAR: 8.8 W/kg maximum (according to "abstract")
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 20 min. (according to "materials and methods" section) or 1 h (according to abstract)?
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup lower abdomens of the pregnant women were exposed by a commercially available cell phone (navel region); cell phone was in talk mode; distance of cell phone to abdomen 2.5 cm (according to "materials and methods" section) or 10 cm (according to abstract)?
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density density 1 mW/cm² minimum - - -
power density density 40 mW/cm² maximum - - -
SAR 1.46 W/kg - - - according to "materials and methods" section
SAR 1.6 W/kg minimum - - according to "abstract"
SAR 8.8 W/kg maximum - - according to "abstract"
Additional parameter details
power flux density of the control group was 0.01-0.1 mW/cm²
Reference articles
  • Agarwal A et al. (2009): Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study.
Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Approximately, 2000 spots were detected in the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Among them, 9 proteins of the exposed group were significantly down-regulated and 6 proteins were significantly up-regulated compared to the control group. Out of these 15 spots, 12 proteins were identified. The protein expression of 3 proteins was verified using Western blot.
The authors conclude that electromagnetic fields from cell phones could alter the protein expression profile of chorionic villous tissue of the early pregnancy.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • National Basic Research Program of China
  • National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC), China

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