Oxidative changes and apoptosis induced by 1800-MHz electromagnetic radiation in NIH/3T3 cells

Electromagn Biol Med. 2015 Mar;34(1):85-92. doi: 10.3109/15368378.2014.900507. Epub 2014 Mar 25.


To investigate the potential adverse effects of mobile phone radiation, we studied reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA damage and apoptosis in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (NIH/3T3) after intermittent exposure (5 min on/10 min off, for various durations from 0.5 to 8 h) to an 1800-MHz GSM-talk mode electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at an average specific absorption rate of 2 W/kg. A 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate fluorescence probe was used to detect intracellular ROS levels, immunofluorescence was used to detect γH2AX foci as a marker for DNA damage, and flow cytometry was used to measure apoptosis. Our results showed a significant increase in intracellular ROS levels after EMR exposure and it reached the highest level at an exposure time of 1 h (p < 0.05) followed by a slight decrease when the exposure continued for as long as 8 h. No significant effect on the number of γH2AX was detected after EMR exposure. The percentage of late-apoptotic cells in the EMR-exposed group was significantly higher than that in the sham-exposed groups (p < 0.05). These results indicate that an 1800-MHz EMR enhances ROS formation and promotes apoptosis in NIH/3T3 cells.

Keywords: 1800-MHz; DNA damage; ROS; apoptosis; mobile phone radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone*
  • DNA Damage
  • Electromagnetic Radiation*
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Intracellular Space / radiation effects
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Reactive Oxygen Species