Investigation of the effects of 2.1 GHz microwave radiation on mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), apoptotic activity and cell viability in human breast fibroblast cells

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013;67(3):1371-8. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9669-6.


In the present study we aimed to investigate the effects of 2.1 GHz Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) modulated Microwave (MW) Radiation on cell survival and apoptotic activity of human breast fibroblast cells. The cell cultures were exposed to W-CDMA modulated MW at 2.1 GHz at a SAR level of 0.607 W/kg for 4 and 24 h. The cell viability was assessed by MTT [3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] method. The percentage of apoptotic cells was analyzed by Annexin V-FITC and PI staining. 5,5',6,6'-Tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'- tetraethylbenzimidazolcarbocyanine iodide (JC-1) was used to measure Mitochondrial Membrane Potential (ΔΨm). sFasL and Fas/APO-1 protein levels were determined by ELISA method. 2.1 GHz MW radiation was shown to be able to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in human breast fibroblast cells. The cell viability of MW-exposed cells was decreased significantly. The percentages of Annexin V-FITC positive cells were higher in MW groups. ΔΨm was decreased significantly due to MW radiation exposure. However, neither sFas nor FasL level was significantly changed in MW-exposed fibroblast cells. The results of this study showed that 2.1 GHz W-CDMA modulated MW radiation-induced apoptotic cell death via the mitochondrial pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Breast / cytology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Fas Ligand Protein / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / radiation effects*
  • Microwaves*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • fas Receptor / metabolism


  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • fas Receptor