Human fibroblasts and 900 MHz radiofrequency radiation: evaluation of DNA damage after exposure and co-exposure to 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5h)-furanone (MX)

Radiat Res. 2009 Jun;171(6):743-51. doi: 10.1667/RR1642.1.


The aim of this study was to investigate DNA damage in human dermal fibroblasts from a healthy subject and from a subject affected by Turner's syndrome that were exposed for 24 h to radiofrequency (RF) radiation at 900 MHz. The RF-radiation exposure was carried out alone or in combination with 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone (MX), a well-known environmental mutagen and carcinogen produced during the chlorination of drinking water. Turner's syndrome fibroblasts were also exposed for a shorter time (1 h). A signal similar to that emitted by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) mobile phones was used at a specific absorption rate of 1 W/kg under strictly controlled conditions of temperature and dosimetry. To evaluate DNA damage after RF-radiation exposure alone, the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay were used. In the combined-exposure experiments, MX was given at a concentration of 25 microM for 1 h immediately after the RF-radiation exposure, and the effects were evaluated by the alkaline comet assay. The results revealed no genotoxic and cytotoxic effects from RF radiation alone in either cell line. As expected, MX treatment induced an increase in DNA migration in the comet assay, but no enhancement of the MX-induced DNA damage was observed in the cells exposed to RF radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA / drug effects
  • DNA / radiation effects*
  • DNA Damage*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects*
  • Furans / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Temperature
  • Turner Syndrome / genetics
  • Turner Syndrome / pathology


  • Furans
  • Mutagens
  • 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone
  • DNA