Atasoy A, Sevim Y, Kaya I, Yilmaz M, Durmus A, Sonmez M, Omay SB, Ozdemir F, Ovali E. (2009). The effects of electromagnetic fields on peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. Bratisl Lek Listy. 110(9):526-9.
Despite the absence of direct evidence of adverse health effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR), studies of its effects at the cellular level continue.
The objective of this study was to analyze possible changes in cell viability, rates of apoptosis, proliferation indices and cell surface antigen expression (HLA-DR, CD11b, CD49d, CD11a) after exposure of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro to radiofrequency radiation.
Blood samples were obtained from 5 healthy individuals. The mononuclear cells were kept in an incubator (37ºC) and exposed to radiofrequencies of 450.6 MHz, 900 MHz, and 1784 MHz for durations of 2, 6, and 24 hours.
No effect of radiofrequency radiation on the number of cells, cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, HLA-DR and CD11b expression was observed. The expression of the adhesion molecule CD11a was decreased after a 6-hour exposure to 900 MHz and 1784 MHz radiofrequency radiation and after 24 hour exposure to 1784 MHz radiofrequency radiation. The expression of the adhesion molecule CD49d was increased after 24-hour exposure to 450.6 MHz, 900 MHz, and 1784 MHz radiofrequency radiation.
Interpretation and Conclusion
In line with other published data, this study did not detect any effect of radiofrequency radiation on cell viability, apoptosis and proliferation. Changes in expression of the adhesion molecules after radiofrequency radiation exposure may be a sign of modulation of the immune system. These findings suggest that radiofrequency radiation could affect functional capacity of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells by changing their adhesion ability. The authors point out that more studies are necessary involving larger numbers of cells and other cell lines.