Kim KB, Byun HO, Han NK, Ko YG, Choi HD, Kim N, Pack JK, Lee JS. Two-Dimensional Electrophoretic Analysis of Radio Frequency Radiation-Exposed MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells. J. Radiat.Res., 51:205-213, 2010.
Although public concern about long term effects of every day use of microwave wireless networks and cellular phones is extensive, the research on it has been inconclusive and controversial. One area that has not received much attention is how the levels of different proteins change in a cell after radiofrequency field (RF) exposure. Proteins are the result of events initiated in a cell under both normal and stressful conditions including RF exposure. Protein expression can change depending on the degree to which the cell has been stressed. At times protein patterns can indicate states where cells take a different pathway and can no longer return to normal. This paper investigates the protein patterns of breast cancer cells following RF exposure.
The objective of this study was to monitor the change in protein expression patterns between unexposed and RF exposed human breast cancer cells.
The cells were grown to similar densities in petri dishes. Three different experimental conditions were set up for the cells: unexposed and RF exposed at specific absorption rates (SARs) of 2 W/kg and 10 W/kg. The two RF exposed groups of cells were placed in a chamber and exposed to 849 MHz at their respective SAR value for 1 hour per day over 3 consecutive days. The control group of cells was placed in the chamber but not exposed to any radiation. The temperature of the cells was maintained at 370C for all three conditions. The cells were incubated for an additional 24 hours and then analyzed. The researchers compared the protein expression patterns of the 3 groups to determine if exposure to RF resulted in any differences.
The authors found that protein patterns were similar for all 3 groups. Any protein pattern differences that were found were inconsistent and could not be reproduced.
Interpretation and limitations
The authors felt that the experimental techniques used to determine differences in protein patterns were not sensitive enough to detect small changes that may be occurring as a result of RF exposure. Another possible problem may be that cancer cells were used and protein expression patterns in these disease cells may have already been altered and be locked in a disease state. Also, since the cells were harvested 24 hours after their last exposure, they could have returned to homeostasis and therefore few differences would have been seen.
This study demonstrated that there were no comparative changes in protein expression patterns after RF exposure.