Mobile-phone radiation-induced perturbation of gene-expression profiling, redox equilibrium and sporadic-apoptosis control in the ovary of Drosophila melanogaster

Fly (Austin). 2017 Apr 3;11(2):75-95. doi: 10.1080/19336934.2016.1270487. Epub 2016 Dec 14.


The daily use by people of wireless communication devices has increased exponentially in the last decade, begetting concerns regarding its potential health hazards. Drosophila melanogaster four days-old adult female flies were exposed for 30 min to radiation emitted by a commercial mobile phone at a SAR of 0.15 W/kg and a SAE of 270 J/kg. ROS levels and apoptotic follicles were assayed in parallel with a genome-wide microarrays analysis. ROS cellular contents were found to increase by 1.6-fold (x), immediately after the end of exposure, in follicles of pre-choriogenic stages (germarium - stage 10), while sporadically generated apoptotic follicles (germarium 2b and stages 7-9) presented with an averaged 2x upregulation in their sub-population mass, 4 h after fly's irradiation with mobile device. Microarray analysis revealed 168 genes being differentially expressed, 2 h post-exposure, in response to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field-radiation exposure (≥1.25x, P < 0.05) and associated with multiple and critical biological processes, such as basic metabolism and cellular subroutines related to stress response and apoptotic death. Exposure of adult flies to mobile-phone radiation for 30 min has an immediate impact on ROS production in animal's ovary, which seems to cause a global, systemic and non-targeted transcriptional reprogramming of gene expression, 2 h post-exposure, being finally followed by induction of apoptosis 4 h after the end of exposure. Conclusively, this unique type of pulsed radiation, mainly being derived from daily used mobile phones, seems capable of mobilizing critical cytopathic mechanisms, and altering fundamental genetic programs and networks in D. melanogaster.

Keywords: ROS; apoptosis; cell death; drosophila; follicle; gene expression; microarrays; mobile-phone radiation; oogenesis; ovary; oxidative stress; transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Phone*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / radiation effects*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects
  • Oogenesis / radiation effects
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Ovary / radiation effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species