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Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin

  • Säteilyturvakesku

Abstract and Figures

Earlier we have shown that the mobile phone radiation (radiofrequency modulated electromagnetic fields; RF-EMF) alters protein expression in human endothelial cell line. This does not mean that similar response will take place in human body exposed to this radiation. Therefore, in this pilot human volunteer study, using proteomics approach, we have examined whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people. Small area of forearm's skin in 10 female volunteers was exposed to RF-EMF (specific absorption rate SAR = 1.3 W/kg) and punch biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas of skin. Proteins extracted from biopsies were separated using 2-DE and protein expression changes were analyzed using PDQuest software. Analysis has identified 8 proteins that were statistically significantly affected (Anova and Wilcoxon tests). Two of the proteins were present in all 10 volunteers. This suggests that protein expression in human skin might be affected by the exposure to RF-EMF. The number of affected proteins was similar to the number of affected proteins observed in our earlier in vitro studies. This is the first study showing that molecular level changes might take place in human volunteers in response to exposure to RF-EMF. Our study confirms that proteomics screening approach can identify protein targets of RF-EMF in human volunteers.
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BMC Genomics
Open Access
Research article
Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human
Anu Karinen, Sirpa Heinävaara, Reetta Nylund and Dariusz Leszczynski*
Address: STUK – Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Laippatie 4, 00880 Helsinki, Finland
Email: Anu Karinen -; Sirpa Heinävaara -; Reetta Nylund -;
Dariusz Leszczynski* -
* Corresponding author
Background: Earlier we have shown that the mobile phone radiation (radiofrequency modulated
electromagnetic fields; RF-EMF) alters protein expression in human endothelial cell line. This does
not mean that similar response will take place in human body exposed to this radiation. Therefore,
in this pilot human volunteer study, using proteomics approach, we have examined whether a local
exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people.
Results: Small area of forearm's skin in 10 female volunteers was exposed to RF-EMF (specific
absorption rate SAR = 1.3 W/kg) and punch biopsies were collected from exposed and non-
exposed areas of skin. Proteins extracted from biopsies were separated using 2-DE and protein
expression changes were analyzed using PDQuest software. Analysis has identified 8 proteins that
were statistically significantly affected (Anova and Wilcoxon tests). Two of the proteins were
present in all 10 volunteers. This suggests that protein expression in human skin might be affected
by the exposure to RF-EMF. The number of affected proteins was similar to the number of affected
proteins observed in our earlier in vitro studies.
Conclusion: This is the first study showing that molecular level changes might take place in human
volunteers in response to exposure to RF-EMF. Our study confirms that proteomics screening
approach can identify protein targets of RF-EMF in human volunteers.
Physiological functions of human body are regulated by
electric currents. Therefore, is not surprising that placing
human body within electromagnetic field, of sufficient
strength, may affect physiological processes. The possibil-
ity of induction of biological and health effects by low
energy radiation emitted by mobile phones (radiofre-
quency-modulated electromagnetic fields: RF-EMF)
remains a controversial issue. In spite of years of research,
there is still ongoing discussion whether RF-EMF could
induce any physiologically relevant effects [1]. The vast
majority of the so far conducted research has focused on
cancer. However, RF-EMF is also suspected as potential
cause of such ailments as sleep disorders, headaches or
allergy-like symptoms [2].
We have proposed that proteomics screening may be used
to reveal molecular targets of RF-EMF and help to under-
stand the possible biochemical mechanism of the RF-
EMF-induced effects [3]. Our earlier proteomics studies
have shown that changes in protein expression and activ-
ity (phosphorylation) were induced in human endothe-
Published: 11 February 2008
BMC Genomics 2008, 9:77 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-77
Received: 13 November 2007
Accepted: 11 February 2008
This article is available from:
© 2008 Karinen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
BMC Genomics 2008, 9:77
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lial cell line EA.hy926 that was exposed to RF-EMF [4-7].
These in vitro observed effects, however, do not automat-
ically mean that similar changes would happen in the cells
of mobile phone users. Therefore, the present pilot study
was undertaken to determine whether a local exposure of
human skin to RF-EMF will induce any changes in protein
expression and whether it will be possible to find com-
mon protein(s) that respond to RF-EMF in all volunteers.
Ethical permit to perform this study was obtained from
the Ethics Committee of Department of Surgery of Hospi-
tal District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland. A small skin
area of a forearm of 10 of same sex (female) volunteers
(age 27 – 65 years; mean 51 years) were irradiated for 1
hour with 900 MHz GSM signal at specific absorption rate
(SAR) of 1.3 W/kg, using specially designed exposure
setup [8]. The mobile phone safety limit SAR is 2.0 W/kg,
as recommended by the International Commission on
Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
Immediately after the exposure, a punch biopsy of the
exposed area of skin (experimental sample) was taken by
a physician. Another punch biopsy was taken from the
other, non-exposed, forearm (sham sample). In this
experimental set-up each volunteer acted as its own sham
control. Both exposed and non-exposed skin samples of
all volunteers were immediately snap-frozen in liquid
nitrogen and stored before extraction of proteins.
Proteins from all samples were extracted using TRIzol Rea-
gent (Invitrogen) and separated using 2-dimensional gel
electrophoresis (2-DE) with pH gradient range of 4–7 in
the first dimension and 9% SDS-PAGE gel in the second
dimension (GE Healthcare). Proteins were detected by sil-
ver staining and spot distribution pattern was analyzed
using PDQuest 7.2 software (Bio-Rad).
We have analyzed a fragment of proteome: proteins with
the isoelectric point (pI) 4–7 and the molecular weight
<40 kDa, because the protein spot separation in 2-DE in
this area was clearly distinguishable (Figure 1). Firstly,
using PDQuest software, for each volunteer was generated
an artificial gel, by combining protein expression profiles
from sham and exposed samples. Thereafter, all 10 artifi-
cial gels were combined into single artificial master gel
Artificial master gel for all sham and exposed skin samples of all 10 volunteersFigure 1
Artificial master gel for all sham and exposed skin samples of all 10 volunteers. Statistically significantly affected protein spots
are marked in red color (declined expression) and in green color (increased expression).
Isoelectric point (pI)
Molecular weight
< 40 kDa
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and the differentially expressed protein spots, which were
detected in at least 4 volunteers, were statistically ana-
The ratio of exposed and sham sample expression was
analyzed spot by spot, after logarithm transformation,
with variance analysis (anova). Due to small numbers and
potential violations of model assumptions, the ratios
were also studied with the Wilcoxon test. The statistical
analysis has identified 8 differentially expressed proteins
where the change in expression was statistically significant
among the 579 identified proteins spots (Table 1). Two of
the protein spots (#3701, #4801) were present in all 10
volunteers thus showing that it is possible to find com-
mon, responding proteins among the all volunteers. The
p-values are not adjusted for multiple comparisons.
Proteomics approach to study effects of mobile phone
radiation on cells has been used so far only by two
research groups, ours in Helsinki and group the Zhejiang
University, Hangzhou, China. Our studies, using human
endothelial cell lines have shown that mobile phone radi-
ation induces statistically significant changes in the
expression of several tens of proteins [6] and that the
response of cell might be proteome-dependent [7]. In one
study, the group in China has not found statistically sig-
nificant differences in protein expression in MCF-7 cells
[9]. The reason for it might be too low number of experi-
ments in MCF-7 study [9]. In our studies statistical analy-
sis was based on 10 different experiments whereas Zeng et
al. [9] based their analysis on only three replicates.
Another reason for the difference might be different sensi-
tivity of MCF-7 cells as compared with ours endothelial
cell lines EA.hy926 and EA.hy926v1. In the other study
from Zhejiang University [10] were found 4 differentially
expressed proteins in lens epithelial cells, among them the
stress response protein Hsp70.
The obtained results, suggesting effect of mobile phone
radiation on protein expression in human cell lines, do
not automatically mean that this exposure will have any
effect on protein expression in humans. The so far con-
ducted human volunteer studies have focused on cogni-
tive responses to RF-EMF [2] and there is no information
available about the proteome, as well as transcriptome,
response to mobile phone radiation in humans. This
study is, to our knowledge, the first one where human
response to RF-EMF was examined on molecular level.
Our results suggest that human skin might respond to RF-
EMF and change protein expression profile. Interestingly,
when adjusting results of our previous cellular study [6]
using the size of proteome analyzed in the present study
(pI 4–7; <40 kDa) the number of the statistically signifi-
cantly affected proteins appears to be similar in this and
in earlier [6] study, 8 spots and 9 spots, respectively. The
number of differentially expressed protein spots in both
studies is below the number of expected false positives.
However, as we have demonstrated experimentally [6]
and discussed previously [11] it is likely that some of the
proteins will be indeed, real positives. However, without
further testing, it is not possible to predict whether these
changes will have impact on skin physiology.
Finally, our study confirms that the proposed by us pro-
teomics approach [3] can identify protein targets of RF-
EMF. This approach to EMF research has been subse-
quently accepted by the EMF scientists [12,13] and has
been included into the 2006 World Health Organization
Research Agenda [14]. However, new and larger study is
urgently needed to strengthen our pilot observations and
to determine what impact mobile phone exposure might
have on human tissues.
é Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression
in human skin.
Table 1: List of proteins that were present in at least 4 volunteers and which expression has been changed in statistically significant
manner (<0.05) as determined by the variance analysis and the Wilcoxon test. Ratio = exposed sample expression/sham sample
Protein spot # Prevalence of spot* Average of
deviation of ratio
Median of
Anova p-value Wilcoxon p-value
1. 3417 4 117.35 157.93 1.00 0.0370
2. 3701 10 0.68 0.39 0.49 0.0139 0.0367
3. 4311 7 68.88 134.67 1.71 0.0369 0.0169
4. 4801 10 1.89 1.01 1.42 0.0162 0.0218
5. 4807 5 223.17 302.78 1.53 0.0307
6. 6610 4 39.86 52.05 1.00 0.0371
7. 7309 8 67.38 101.44 12.17 0.0034 0.0076
8. 8214 4 146.60 252.75 1.00 0.0391
* prevalence shows in how many volunteers, out of 10, was detected given protein spot;
variance analysis might be unreliable because of small numbers of cases and potential violations of model assumptions;
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é Physiological significance of this change is not known
and requires further study.
é Larger human volunteer study will be needed to confirm
results of this pilot study.
é Proteomics screening is valid method for search for
molecular targets of mobile phone radiation. Without this
approach the identification of the proteins responding to
mobile phone radiation would not be reasonably possi-
Ethical issues
Ethical permit to perform this study was obtained, in
accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, from the Ethics
Committee of the Department of Surgery of the Hospital
District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland (decision
#127/2005 issued on November 23, 2005). Each volun-
teer was informed in detail about all experimental proce-
dures and each of them has signed the informed consent
form (in Finnish language).
Exposure of volunteers to mobile phone radiation
Volunteers were exposed to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone
radiation in an experimental setup described in detail
elsewhere [8]. The source of irradiation was a half-wave
dipole fed with a computer controlled GSM phone. The
specific absorption rate (SAR) induced in the skin was 1.3
W/kg what is below the ICNIRP safety guidelines (2.0 W/
kg). During the exposure small area of the right forearms
was irradiated for one hour. The other, non-irradiated
forearm was used as sham control. Immediately after
exposure skin punch-biopsies were taken from the
exposed and non-exposed skin for protein analysis.
Protein extraction from skin biopsies
Skin punch biopsies, consisting of both dermis and epi-
dermis but without the underlying fat tissue, were frozen
immediately after harvesting in liquid nitrogen and stored
at -80°C. Isolation and separation of proteins were per-
formed in the blinded manner. Proteins were isolated
from frozen skin using TRIzol
reagent protocol as
described by the manufacturer (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA,
USA) with a few modifications. Briefly, the chopped skin
punch-biopsies were immersed in 0.5 ml of ice-cold TRI-
zol reagent and homogenized on ice with 70 strokes of the
pestle in DUALL 1 ml tissue grinder (Kimble Chase Life
Science and Research Products, Vineland, NJ, USA). After
the phase separation of TRIzol reagent, the organic phase
containing DNA and proteins was collected. DNA was
then precipitated with ethanol and proteins were isolated
from the phenol-ethanol supernatant. The proteins were
then precipitated by isopropyl alcohol and pelleted at
12000 × g for 10 min at +4°C. The protein pellet was
washed 3 times with 0.3 M guanidine hydrochloride solu-
tion in 95% ethanol and once with 99.5% ethanol. Dur-
ing the extraction pellets were grinded with pellet pestle in
order to improve the solubility of the proteins. After each
wash step, proteins were centrifuged 7500 × g for 5 min at
+4°C. The air-dried protein pellet was dissolved in 2-DE
rehydration buffer containing 9 M urea, 2% (w/v) CHAPS,
0.5% (v/v) IPG buffer pH 4–7 and 5 mg/ml DTT (added
as fresh). The protein concentration of sample was meas-
ured using the Bradford method. The samples were stored
at -80°C.
Protein separation with 2-DE
Proteins were separated by standard 2-DE. Briefly, the first
dimension was performed in IPGphor™ (GE Healthcare,
UK) isoelectric focusing (IEF) apparatus. Linear, 24 cm
long, pH 4–7 Immobiline™ DryStrip gels (IPG-strips, GE
Healthcare, UK) were rehydrated in the strip holders for 4
hours in 0.45 ml rehydration buffer containing 9 M urea,
2% (w/v) CHAPS, 0.5% (v/v) IPG-buffer pH 4–7, 1.2%
(v/v) DeStreak™ reagent, a trace of bromophenol blue and
150 μg of total amount of protein. IEF was carried out at
+20°C using following step-and-hold settings: 50 V, 8 h;
100 V, 1 h; 500 V, 1 h; 1000 V, 1 h; 2000 V, 1 h; 8000 V,
until 95000 Vh was achieved. Then, the IPG-strips were
incubated at room temperature in equilibration buffer
(50 mM Tris-HCl, pH 8.8, 6 M urea, 30% (v/v) glycerol,
2% (w/v) SDS, a trace of bromophenol blue, and 10 mg/
ml DTT) for 15 min and for another 15 min in the same
buffer that contained 25 mg/ml of iodoacetamide instead
of DTT. The second-dimension separation was performed
using 9%SDS-PAGE gels. Electrophoresis was carried out
at +10°C using an Ettan™ DALTsix electrophoresis unit
(GE Healtcare) at a constant power of 3.5 W/gel for 0.5 h
and then 13 W/gel until the dye front reached the bottom
of the gel (about 4 h). The ready gels were silver stained to
visualize protein spots. Stained gels were scanned into
computer using GS-710 Calibrated Imaging Densitometer
(Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA, USA). The gels were
analyzed using PDQuest 7.2 software (Bio-Rad).
CHAPS, 3-[(3-Cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-
propanesulfonate; 2-DE, 2-dimensional electrophoresis;
DTT, dithiothreitol; EA.hy926, human endothelial cell
line; ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-Ioniz-
ing Radiation Protection; IEF, isoelectric focusing; IPG,
immobilized pH gradient; MCF-7, human breast adeno-
carcinoma cell line; pI, isoelectric point; RF-EMF, radiofre-
quency modulated electromagnetic field; SAR, specific
absorption rate; SDS, sodium dodecyl sulfate; SDS-PAGE,
sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophore-
sis; Tris-HCl, Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane hydro-
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Authors' contributions
AK executed the proteomics experiments and performed
analysis of the proteomics data. RN assisted in designing
of the study, participated in writing the grant funding the
study, assisted in analysis of proteomics data. SH per-
formed statistical analysis of the data. DL conceived and
designed the study, obtained grant funding the study,
coordinated execution and analysis of the results and
wrote the draft manuscript. All authors participated in the
writing of the final version of the manuscript, read it and
approved it.
We thank Dr. J. Halttunen (Central Hospital of the University of Helsinki)
for taking skin biopsies. Funding was provided by Tekes – Finnish Funding
Agency for Technology and Innovation (HERMO project) and by STUK-
Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
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... A study on healthy human subjects showed DNA damage in hair root cells after 30 min of mobile phone talk [27]. A Finnish study showed that proteins in the skin could be affected after RF radiation exposure on the skin [28]. Dermatitis has also been seen near electronic wireless devices like lap tops [29]. ...
Full-text available
A previously healthy worker developed symptoms assigned to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) after moving to an office with exposure to high levels of anthropogenic electromagnetic fields (EMFs). These symptoms consisted of e.g. headache, arthralgia, tinnitus, dizziness, memory loss, fatique, insomnia, transitory cardiovascular abnormalities, and skin lesions. Most of the symptoms were alleviated after 2 weeks sick leave. The highest radiofrequency (RF) field level at the working place was 1.72 V/m (7,852 μW/m2). Maximum value for extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) from electric power at 50 Hz was measured to 285 nT (mean 241 nT). For electric train ELF-EMF at 16.7 Hz was measured to 383 nT (mean 76 nT). Exposure to EMFs at the working place could be the cause for developing EHS related symptoms. The association was strengthened by the symptom reduction outside the working place.
... Contrary to this, exposure of breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) to 1800 MHz RF-EMFs had no significant effect on protein expression [6]. Data collected from in vivo studies proposed that human skin cells may respond to RF-EMF by changing protein expression profiles [7]. ...
Full-text available
Background Accumulating evidence has shown that radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by mobile phones is a potential factor for DNA damage. Whether RFR affects the gene expression of human genes still requires further research. This may help in understanding the mechanisms of action of this radiation. On the assumption that expression of BAMBI and Survivin in the oral squamous epithelial cells might be modified in response to RF electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure, the current study was conducted on a group of young university student volunteers. Results Statistical analysis of the RT-PCR data indicated that no significant association ( P value ˃ 0.05) exists between the expression of either gene , and neither the length of history nor the frequency of the phone use. Conclusions Although no clear RF-EMF signature on gene expression could be detected in this in this preliminary study, it is one of the few studies indicating that molecular-level changes might take place in humans in response to chronic mobile phone EMR exposure. Further investigations in this field are warranted.
... These bands of protein served as diagnostic characters when after electrical field exposure they occurred or disappeared. These results agreed with (Karinen et al. 2008) who stated that proteins could be affected by exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) in human skin and that protein fractions in rats exposed to mobile base stations'rays could vary 24 hours a day for eight weeks (El-Abiad and Marzook 2005). This can be caused by the EMF effect on biodiversity membranes (Patras et al. 2017;Salford et al. 1994). ...
Electrical Pulsed Field (PEF), of pulse duration in 4 milliseconds, effect on mosquito larvae (Culex pipiens) as aquatic insects is assessed in this work. Mosquito larvae classes have been treated with electric field power values (66.66, 83.33, 100, 116.66 V/cm) with separate pulse number (60) and other classes of various pulse numbers have been treated (20, 40, 60, 80) with power of the electrical field 100 V/cm. The findings revealed that positively significant of increase of the applied electrical field strength or increase of the number of pulses. The rise in both cases leads to an increase in the mortality of 25%, 50%, and 75% of the mosquito larvae (P < .05). The impact was calculated with the bioassay system on mosque larvae, SDS-PAGE for whole body proteins, enzyme analysis and ultrastructural examination using TEM. The current study reveals that a low pulsed electric field can cause mosquito larvae genotoxic, changes in the insect’s body proteins, which may affect the insect’s ability to live. The increase in pulsed electric field parameters also activates oxidative stress in the insect cell by disrupting its secretion of enzymes that could affect the mosquito’s capabilities in the future.
... In 2002, a similar type of study was performed in Finland to demonstrate the effects of wireless phone radiation on human cells rather than those to rats. Researcher found that mobile phone radiation can damage the blood-brain barrier (Karinen et al., 2008). In 2015, a study was done to demonstrate the effects of radio frequency radiation emitted from cell phones on human eye function and found significant changes in visual acuity (Visual acuity, Refraction) (Kafi et al.,2015) Opacity of the crystalline lens is defined as cataract, which is the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide still now. ...
Full-text available
In 21 st century almost every person uses cell phone throughout the world. However, the exposures of radiation emitted by the cell phone are not known to the individuals. Enormous exposure of unwanted electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phone in human life is increasing and expected to be in peak coming days due to the technological innovation such as 5G may have serious health hazards. There are numerous reports stated that radiation emitted by cell phone may be responsible biological as well as environmental hazards. However, due to the lack of awareness and knowledge of radiation emitted from cell phone, we expose our self in unnecessary radiation. Therefore, our main aim of the review article is to collect data from different studies and bring it up about the affect of cell phone radiation in human as well as in environment. The review also will focus on its exposure standards and its health and environmental implications, precautionary measure to avoid effect of cell phone radiation.
... The same approach should be taken to resolve the problem of sensitivity to exposures from EMF. Physiological studies of responses to EMF exposures will generate data useful for developing diagnostic tools for the detection of EMF sensitive persons and to, potentially, develop methods to mitigate the physiological effects of EMF exposures without the necessity of avoidance of EMF exposures. This biochemical approach has been shown to be able to experimentally generate data on EMF-exposure affected proteins or genes [263]. In the coming era of 5G technology and the already being developed 6G technology, avoidance of EMF exposures will become virtually impossible for any person wishing to remain function and prosper in the society. ...
Full-text available
Part of the population considers themselves as sensitive to the man-made electromagnetic radiation (EMF) emitted by powerlines, electric wiring, electric home appliance and the wireless communication devices and networks. Sensitivity is characterized by a broad variety of non-specific symptoms that the sensitive people claim to experience when exposed to EMF. While the experienced symptoms are currently considered as a real life impairment, the factor causing these symptoms remains unclear. So far, scientists were unable to find causality link between symptoms experienced by sensitive persons and the exposures to EMF. However, as presented in this review, the executed to-date scientific studies, examining sensitivity to EMF, are of poor quality to find the link between EMF exposures and sensitivity symptoms of some people. It is logical to consider that the sensitivity to EMF exists but the scientific methodology used to find it is of insufficient quality. It is time to drop out psychology driven provocation studies that ask about feelings-based non-specific symptoms experienced by volunteers under EMF exposure. Such research approach produces only subjective and therefore highly unreliable data that is insufficient to prove, or to disprove, causality link between EHS and EMF. There is a need for a new direction in studying sensitivity to EMF. The basis for it is the notion of a commonly known phenomenon of individual sensitivity, where individuals' responses to EMF depend on the genetic and epigenetic properties of the individual. It is proposed here that new studies, combining provocation approach, where volunteers are exposed to EMF, and high-throughput technologies of transcriptomics and proteomics are used to generate objective data, detecting molecular level biochemical responses of human body to EMF.
... Human exposure to 835 MHz RF with 1.6 W/kg SAR significantly decreases skin resistance, as measured using mesh-type electrodes 12 . Additionally, the expression levels of numerous proteins in human skin were found to be altered when exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMF (1.3 W/kg SAR) 3 . These studies suggest the possibility of biochemical and physiological changes in skin cells following RF-EMF exposure. ...
Full-text available
As the skin is the largest body organ and critically serves as a barrier, it is frequently exposed and could be physiologically affected by radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure. In this study, we found that 1760 MHz RF-EMF (4.0 W/kg specific absorption rate for 2 h/day during 4 days) exposure could induce intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in HaCaT human keratinocytes using 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate fluorescent probe analysis. However, cell growth and viability were unaffected by RF-EMF exposure. Since oxidative stress in the skin greatly influences the skin-aging process, we analyzed the skin senescence-related factors activated by ROS generation. Matrix metalloproteinases 1, 3, and 7 (MMP1, MMP3, and MMP7), the main skin wrinkle-related proteins, were significantly increased in HaCaT cells after RF-EMF exposure. Additionally, the gelatinolytic activities of secreted MMP2 and MMP9 were also increased by RF-EMF exposure. FoxO3a (Ser318/321) and ERK1/2 (Thr 202/Tyr 204) phosphorylation levels were significantly increased by RF-EMF exposure. However, Bcl2 and Bax expression levels were not significantly changed, indicating that the apoptotic pathway was not activated in keratinocytes following RF-EMF exposure. In summary, our findings show that exposure to 1760 MHz RF-EMF induces ROS generation, leading to MMP activation and FoxO3a and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. These data suggest that RF-EMF exposure induces cellular senescence of skin cells through ROS induction in HaCaT human keratinocytes.
... Therefore, scientists do not yet have a long-term tracking of their possible health effects (9). Since the physiological functions of the human body are regulated by electrical currents, we may assume that placing the human body in a su ciently strong electromagnetic eld will affect physiological processes (10). Although the vast majority of recent research projects focus on cancer, electromagnetic elds (EMFs) are also suspected as a potential cause of such diseases like sleep disorders, headaches or allergy-like symptoms (4). ...
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Background Smartphone ubiquitous has become profound especially during 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) lockdown period. It is worth considering the influence on users’ health symptoms, which extend beyond the realm of communication. Prior research suggests smartphone’s usage and pattern correlated with self-reported symptoms from different countries. Hence, this research aimed to evaluate the smartphone usage and pattern, also its association on self-reported symptoms among medical students in Malaysia, which occurred during COVID-19 lockdown implementation. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted, with 252 medical students enrolled in the study at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) using proportionate stratified random sampling. Sociodemographic, socioeconomic characteristics, smartphone usage and pattern also self-reported symptoms were derived from the self-administered questionnaire. Student’s t-test, Pearson’s Chi Square and Pearson’s correlation were used to determine the association of factors (sociodemographic, socioeconomic status and academic performance) on smartphone usage and pattern. Simple and Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) were performed to seek the main factor contributing to the association of smartphone usage and pattern on self-reported symptoms. Results Smartphone usage SAS-M score was 101.43 (25.15). Smartphone pattern revealed an average of 7 years owning a smartphone, make or receive calls about 32 minutes per day and spend around 4 hours per day other than calls, and the participants equally use their smartphone for entertainment (50%) and non-entertainment (50%) purposes. They have about one extra device besides their smartphone and usually would first use their smartphone within 15 minutes after wake-up in the morning. Employed father status (Adj. ß = 7.431, 95% CI: 3.069, 11.793) and entertainment (Adj. ß = 4.211, 95% CI: 0.460, 7.962) as most personally relevant smartphone function are the significant main predictors for self-reported symptoms after controlling other factors. Conclusions These results suggest that father’s occupation and entertainment function of smartphone pattern affect self-reported symptoms among medical students in the setting of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Parents’ active participation is crucial from early childhood education on proper ways to utilise smartphones, also having support system on seeking various ways of entertainment. Public campaigns promoting awareness on proper way of utilising smartphone to avoid the tendency of smartphone addiction are essential.
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is categorised as a multisymptomatic 'el-allergy' in the Nordic classification of 2000 (R.68.8). Its symptoms are 'certainly real' and it can be a 'disabling condition' (W.H.O., 2005). It was first recorded in the mid 20th century as an occupational illness, but it has now spread into the general population through environmental exposure from increasing levels of electromagnetic fields and radiation. This Summary covers current research on this syndrome, covering EM Sensitivity and EM Hypersensitivity. It includes tables of symptoms, EMF sources and exposure guidelines, along with references to scientific studies. This New Edition adds updates, international doctors' protocols, aspects of quantum biology, evidence for sensitivity in animals and plants, case studies, disability issues and human rights.
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This study evaluated the non-thermal effects of microwave on bovine lens by measuring the S-parameters induced by the dielectric coefficient variation in bovine lens. A closed, integrated biological experiment system was designed to expose bovine lens to microwave radiation quantitatively, and S-parameters were measured. Morphological evaluations were also performed during microwave radiation to evaluate the reaction mechanism of the non-thermal effects of microwave on the bovine lens. The results showed that the bovine lens became gradually cloudy and its refractive index changed significantly with increasing doses of microwave radiation. A comparison of experimental and control bovine lenses stained with hematoxylin and eosin revealed that the change in bovine lens might be a result of the nuclear fragmentation of lens epithelial cells and disorderly arrangement of lens fiber cells, which were induced by the vibration and friction of fiber tissues upset by microwave radiation. Further, the fluctuating decrements of 3.8 dB in S21 showed that the non-thermal effects of microwave could lead to the variations in the bovine lens dielectric coefficient. These findings suggest that the dielectric coefficient may quantitatively describe the physiological state of bovine lens. This study might be the valuable reference for the establishment of new electromagnetic radiation safety standard.
The optimal conditions for fabricating a screen-printed diamond electrode for the sensitive detection of l-cysteine (Cys), a non-essential amino acid, were investigated. As-grown (AG-), hydrogen-terminated (H-) and oxygen-terminated boron-doped diamond powders (O-BDDP) were prepared, and BDDP-printed electrodes were fabricated using BDDP-containing inks. Comparing the linear sweep voltammograms of Cys at AG-BDDP-, H-BDDP-, and O-BDDP-printed electrodes, among the three samples, the H-BDDP-printed electrode was found to be the most suitable for the sensitive detection of Cys at low concentrations, showing a steep slope in its calibration curve and a low background current density. In addition, the H-BDDP-printed electrode exhibited a lower limit of detection (0.620 μM) and a more negative oxidation peak potential (+0.663 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and wider linear concentration range (1–194 μM) than a H-boron-doped diamond (BDD) thin-film electrode. It is thought that a slight amount of sp² carbon on the BDDP contributed to these optimal properties. Using the H-BDDP-printed electrode, Cys was detected in a solution containing electroactive interferents (glutathione and methionine) with a recovery of 86–104%. Therefore, it was concluded that the H-BDDP-printed electrode can be used as a highly sensitive and disposable electrochemical sensor for Cys detection.
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Despite years of research, the question of whether exposure to radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) generated by mobile phones affects human health remains unsolved. We obtained a comprehensive overview of the possible extent of cellular response to RF-EMF irradiation by determining the total cellular changes in protein expression and in protein phosphorylation that occur in response to RF-EMF exposure under athermal conditions. As a model we used human endothelial cell line EA.hy926. Cells were exposed for one hour to a 900-MHz GSM signal. Immediately following exposure we harvested cells and extracted and separated proteins using two-dimensional electrophoresis. To determine changes in protein phosphorylation, 32P was present in the cultures during the exposure period. Using Bio-Rad's PDQUEST 6.1.0 software we identified over 1,200 proteins in two-dimensional gels (10 20 cm). A large number of protein spots changed expression following irradiation. In control cells we detected over 180 phosphoproteins. RF-EMF exposure has generated a large number of newly phosphorylated proteins that were not present in controls. Among the proteins with altered phosphorylation levels were shock proteins, such as hsp27. Thus the expression and phosphorylation of a large number of proteins isolated from EA.hy926 cells seems to be altered by short RF-EMF exposure, suggesting that cells mount a vigorous response to RF-EMF stress. However, whether the observed stress can cause long-lasting physiological effects remains to be determined.
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Literature published between 2000 to 2004 concerning electromagnetic fields (EMF) of mobile communication and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or unspecific symptoms of ill health, respectively, is reviewed. Basically, literature from established databases was systematically searched for. For each study, the design and quality were evaluated by means of a criteria list in order to judge evidence for causality of exposures on effects. Finally, 13 studies of sufficient quality were considered for this review. In only one provocation study, individuals with self-reported electromagnetic hypersensitivity were exposed to EMF. Their perception of field status was no better than would have been expected by chance. Results of five randomised cross-over studies on impaired well-being due to mobile phone exposure were contradictory. Even though these studies would allow more reliable exposure assessment, they are limited due to short exposure period and the small study size. No firm conclusion could be drawn from a few observational epidemiological studies finding a positive association between exposure and unspecific symptoms of ill health due to methodological limitations. Causality of exposure and effect was not derivable from these cross-sectional studies as field status and health complaints were assessed at the same time. In addition, exposure assessment has not been validated. In conclusion, based on the limited studies available, there is no valid evidence for an association between impaired well-being and exposure to mobile phone radiation presently. However, the limited quantity and quality of research in this area do not allow to exclude long-term health effects definitely.
Since the Royal Society of Canada report on potential health risks of radiofrequency (RF) fields from wireless telecommunications in the spring of 1999, there have been several newly published reports on risks associated with the use of mobile phones. This article provides a summary of scientific research on the potential health effects of radiofrequency fields that has been reported since the original Royal Society report was published. This update also discusses several earlier results not included in the original report.
We have examined whether non-thermal exposures of cultures of the human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone microwave radiation could activate stress response. Results obtained demonstrate that 1-hour non-thermal exposure of EA.hy926 cells changes the phosphorylation status of numerous, yet largely unidentified, proteins. One of the affected proteins was identified as heat shock protein-27 (hsp27). Mobile phone exposure caused a transient increase in phosphorylation of hsp27, an effect which was prevented by SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK). Also, mobile phone exposure caused transient changes in the protein expression levels of hsp27 and p38MAPK. All these changes were non-thermal effects because, as determined using temperature probes, irradiation did not alter the temperature of cell cultures, which remained throughout the irradiation period at 37 +/- 0.3 degrees C. Changes in the overall pattern of protein phosphorylation suggest that mobile phone radiation activates a variety of cellular signal transduction pathways, among them the hsp27/p38MAPK stress response pathway. Based on the known functions of hsp27, we put forward the hypothesis that mobile phone radiation-induced activation of hsp27 may (i) facilitate the development of brain cancer by inhibiting the cytochrome c/caspase-3 apoptotic pathway and (ii) cause an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability through stabilization of endothelial cell stress fibers. We postulate that these events, when occurring repeatedly over a long period of time, might become a health hazard because of the possible accumulation of brain tissue damage. Furthermore, our hypothesis suggests that other brain damaging factors may co-participate in mobile phone radiation-induced effects.
We argue that the use of high-throughput screening techniques, although expensive and laborious, is justified and necessary in studies that examine biological effects of mobile phone radiation. The "case of hsp27 protein" presented here suggests that even proteins with only modestly altered (by exposure to mobile phone radiation) expression and activity might have an impact on cell physiology. However, this short communication does not attempt to present the full scientific evidence that is far too large to be presented in a single article and that is being prepared for publication in three separate research articles. Examples of the experimental evidence presented here were designed to show the flow of experimental process demonstrating that the use of high-throughput screening techniques might help in rapid identification of the responding proteins. This, in turn, can help in speeding up of the process of determining whether these changes might affect human health.*
The human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 was exposed to mobile phone radiation and the effect on protein expression was examined using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). Up to 38 various proteins have statistically significantly altered their expression levels following the irradiation. Four proteins were identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). Two of the affected proteins were determined to be isoforms of cytoskeletal vimentin. This finding supports our earlier presented working hypothesis which indicated that the mobile phone radiation might affect the cytoskeleton and might have an effect on the physiological functions that are regulated by the cytoskeleton.
We have examined in vitro cell response to mobile phone radiation (900 MHz GSM signal) using two variants of human endothelial cell line: EA.hy926 and EA.hy926v1. Gene expression changes were examined in three experiments using cDNA Expression Arrays and protein expression changes were examined in ten experiments using 2-DE and PDQuest software. Obtained results show that gene and protein expression were altered, in both examined cell lines, in response to one hour mobile phone radiation exposure at an average specific absorption rate of 2.8 W/kg. However, the same genes and proteins were differently affected by the exposure in each of the cell lines. This suggests that the cell response to mobile phone radiation might be genome- and proteome-dependent. Therefore, it is likely that different types of cells and from different species might respond differently to mobile phone radiation or might have different sensitivity to this weak stimulus. Our findings might also explain, at least in part, the origin of discrepancies in replication studies between different laboratories.
The applicability of high-throughput screening techniques of transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics in the search for biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields is a hotly debated issue. On the one hand, use of these modern screening technologies speeds up the discovery process and gives broader insight into biochemical events that follow the exposure to electromagnetic fields. On the other hand these modern screening technologies have the problem of reproducibility and variability between experiments and are prone to produce false positive results. These and other issues concerning the applicability of modern screening technologies were the topic of a workshop held at STUK in 2005 (30 October to 1 November) in Helsinki, Finland, and this Report summarizes the discussions at this workshop.
Despite many studies over a decade, it still remains ambiguous as to the real biological effects induced by radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) utilized in mobile telephony. Here we investigated global gene and protein responses to RF EMF simulating the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 1800 MHz signal in human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 using genomic and proteomic approaches. GeneChip analysis identified a handful of consistent changed genes after exposure to RF EMF at specific absorption rates (SAR) of up to 3.5 W/kg for 24 h. However, these differentially transcribed genes could not be further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR assay. Meanwhile, systematic proteome analysis of the MCF-7 cells revealed that a few but different proteins were differentially expressed under continuous or intermittent RF EMF exposure at SAR of 3.5 W/kg for 24 h or less, implying that the observed effects might have occurred by chance. Overall, the present study does not provide convincing evidence that RF EMF exposure under current experimental conditions can produce distinct effects on gene and protein expression in the MCF-7 cells.