Mobile phone radiation alters proliferation of hepatocarcinoma cells

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2014 Nov;70(2):983-91. doi: 10.1007/s12013-014-0007-4.


This study investigated the effects of intermittent exposure (15 min on, 15 min off for 1, 2, 3, or 4 h, at a specific absorption rate of 2 W/kg) to enhanced data rates for global system for mobile communication evolution-modulated radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at 900- and 1,800-MHz frequencies on the viability of the Hepatocarcinoma cells (Hep G2). Hep G2 cell proliferation was measured by a colorimetric assay based on the cleavage of the tetrazolium salt WST-1 by mitochondrial dehydrogenases in viable cells. Cell injury was evaluated by analyzing the levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and glucose released from lysed cells into the culture medium. Morphological observation of the nuclei was carried out by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining using fluorescence microscopy. In addition, TUNEL assay was performed to confirm apoptotic cell death. It was observed that cell viability, correlated with the LDH and glucose levels, changed according to the frequency and duration of RFR exposure. Four-hour exposure produced more pronounced effects than the other exposure durations. 1,800-MHz RFR had a larger impact on cell viability and Hep G2 injury than the RFR at 900 MHz. Morphological observations also supported the biochemical results indicating that most of the cells showed irregular nuclei pattern determined by using the DAPI staining, as well as TUNEL assay which shows DNA damage especially in the cells after 4 h of exposure to 1,800-MHz RFR. Our results indicate that the applications of 900- and 1,800-MHz (2 W/kg) RFR cause to decrease in the proliferation of the Hep G2 cells after 4 h of exposure. Further studies will be conducted on other frequency bands of RFR and longer duration of exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors


  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Glucose