Exposure to 1800 MHz radiofrequency radiation impairs neurite outgrowth of embryonic neural stem cells

Sci Rep. 2014 May 29;4:5103. doi: 10.1038/srep05103.


A radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) of 1800 MHz is widely used in mobile communications. However, the effects of RF-EMFs on cell biology are unclear. Embryonic neural stem cells (eNSCs) play a critical role in brain development. Thus, detecting the effects of RF-EMF on eNSCs is important for exploring the effects of RF-EMF on brain development. Here, we exposed eNSCs to 1800 MHz RF-EMF at specific absorption rate (SAR) values of 1, 2, and 4 W/kg for 1, 2, and 3 days. We found that 1800 MHz RF-EMF exposure did not influence eNSC apoptosis, proliferation, cell cycle or the mRNA expressions of related genes. RF-EMF exposure also did not alter the ratio of eNSC differentiated neurons and astrocytes. However, neurite outgrowth of eNSC differentiated neurons was inhibited after 4 W/kg RF-EMF exposure for 3 days. Additionally, the mRNA and protein expression of the proneural genes Ngn1 and NeuroD, which are crucial for neurite outgrowth, were decreased after RF-EMF exposure. The expression of their inhibitor Hes1 was upregulated by RF-EMF exposure. These results together suggested that 1800 MHz RF-EMF exposure impairs neurite outgrowth of eNSCs. More attention should be given to the potential adverse effects of RF-EMF exposure on brain development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Cell Phone
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Neurites / radiation effects
  • Neurogenesis / radiation effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / radiation effects
  • Radio Waves


  • RNA, Messenger