Del Vecchio, G. Giuliani, A. Fernandez, M. Mesirca, P. Bersani, F. Pinto, R. Ardoino, L. Lovisolo, G. A. Giardino, L., and Calza, L. (2009). Continuous exposure to 900MHz GSM-modulated EMF alters morphological maturation of neural cells. Neurosci Lett. 455(3):173-7.
Developing nervous tissue is sensitive to a variety of physical signals. It has been suggested that exogenous application of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) affects brain development, influencing growth, differentiation and direction of neurite.
The objective was to examine potential effects of 900 MHz GSM-modulated EMF on neuron development in cell culture.
Two cellular systems were used in these experiments: murine SN56 cholinergic cell line and rat primary cortical neurons. The samples were exposed to EMF at SAR of 1 W/kg. Unexposed cells were used as control. Analyzed morphological parameters included neurite emission, outgrowth and branching. The effects of EMF exposure on selective gene expression regulation were then studied in cortical neurons. For this purpose, b15-thymosin which had been linked to neurite outgrowth, and early regulated genes, c-Fos and c-Jun, selected as specificity control, were analyzed through real-time PCR on mRNA extracted after 24 hour exposure to EMF.
Results and interpretation
It has been shown that continuous exposure to 900 MHz GSM-modulated EMF at SAR of 1W/kg reduces the number of neurites generated by both cell systems without affecting branching and length of neuritis. It has been observed that this alteration correlates with increased expression of b15- thymosin mRNA. This gene expression alteration seems to be specific as it does not involve early genes (c-Fos and c-Jun). Alteration of b15- thymosin expression by RF-EMF exposure could be a direct or an indirect effect of radiation.
Further studies are needed to elucidate crucial molecular mediators and pathways modifying neural cells phenotype.