Purpose: An increase in Ornithine Decarboxylase (ODC) activity was reported in L929 murine fibroblast cells after exposure to a digital cellular telephone signal. This result was not confirmed by several other studies, including the one reported in a companion paper. As a partner in the Perform-B programme, we extended this study to human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y), using well-defined waveguide systems to imitate exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR): Digital Advanced Mobile Phone System (DAMPS) or Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) signals emitted by mobile phones.
Materials and methods: Human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) were exposed at various Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) to DAMPS or GSM signals using different set-ups. Cell ODC activities were assayed using 14CO2 generation from 14C-labeled L-ornithine.
Results: SH-SY5Y cells were incubated for 20 hours, and were blindly exposed to 50 Hz-modulated DAMPS-835 or 217 Hz-modulated GSM-1800 for 8 or 24 h using Information Technologies in Society (IT'IS) waveguides equipped with fans. After cell lysis, ODC activity was determined using 14C-labeled L-ornithine. ODC activity was estimated by the 14CO2 generated from 14C-labeled L-ornithine, as generated d.p.m. 14CO2/h/mg protein. The results showed that, irrespective of the signal used (835 MHz/DAMPS, or 1800 MHz/GSM) and exposure conditions (duration and SAR), human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells did not exhibit any alteration in ODC enzyme activity.
Conclusion: This work did not show a significant effect of mobile phone RFR exposure on ODC activity in neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y).