Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that variations in the physiological state of cells explain inconsistent results from in vitro studies on biological effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation.
Materials and methods: Murine L929 fibroblasts stimulated with fresh medium, stressed with serum deprivation or not subjected to stimulation or stress were exposed in a waveguide exposure chamber to 872 MHz continuous wave or pulse modulated (217 pulses per second) RF radiation at specific absorption rate of 5 W/kg. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity after 1-and 24-h exposures, proliferation during 48 h after 24 h exposure, and caspase-3 activity (a measure of apoptosis) after 1 h exposure were measured.
Results: The cells responded to fresh medium and serum deprivation, but no consistent effects of RF radiation were found. One statistically significant (p=0.03) RF radiation-related difference was observed in ODC activity, but this is most likely a chance finding, as many statistical comparisons were performed, and the finding was not supported by any other data.
Conclusions: The results did not support effects on the endpoints studied. Furthermore, stressed and stimulated cells were not more sensitive than normal cells to possible RF radiation-induced effects.