We have recently described frequency-dependent effects of mobile phone microwaves (MWs) of global system for mobile communication (GSM) on human lymphocytes from persons reporting hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields and healthy persons. Contrary to GSM, universal global telecommunications system (UMTS) mobile phones emit wide-band MW signals. Hypothetically, UMTS MWs may result in higher biological effects compared to GSM signal because of eventual "effective" frequencies within the wideband. Here, we report for the first time that UMTS MWs affect chromatin and inhibit formation of DNA double-strand breaks co-localizing 53BP1/gamma-H2AX DNA repair foci in human lymphocytes from hypersensitive and healthy persons and confirm that effects of GSM MWs depend on carrier frequency. Remarkably, the effects of MWs on 53BP1/gamma-H2AX foci persisted up to 72 h following exposure of cells, even longer than the stress response following heat shock. The data are in line with the hypothesis that the type of signal, UMTS MWs, may have higher biological efficiency and possibly larger health risk effects compared to GSM radiation emissions. No significant differences in effects between groups of healthy and hypersensitive subjects were observed, except for the effects of UMTS MWs and GSM-915 MHz MWs on the formation of the DNA repair foci, which were different for hypersensitive (P < 0.02[53BP1]//0.01[gamma-H2AX]) but not for control subjects (P > 0.05). The non-parametric statistics used here did not indicate specificity of the differences revealed between the effects of GSM and UMTS MWs on cells from hypersensitive subjects and more data are needed to study the nature of these differences.
Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.