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.