Exposure to radiation from single or combined radio frequencies provokes macrophage dysfunction in the RAW 264.7 cell line

Int J Radiat Biol. 2018 Jun;94(6):607-618. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2018.1465610. Epub 2018 Apr 30.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether exposure to radiation from single or multiple radio-frequency (RF) signals at 900 and 2450 MHz would induce effects in the RAW 264.7 cell line.

Materials and methods: Cell cultures were exposed to single or combined RF for 4, 24, 48, or 72 h in a GTEM electromagnetic test chamber. At the end of the radiation exposure time, viability and cell growth were analyzed by flow cytometry, nitric oxide (NO) production was measured by colorimetry, the expression of HSP70 and TNF-α was ascertained by qPCR, and the phagocytic activity was observed by microscopy.

Results: NO production increased after 48 h exposure at 2450 MHz, compared with controls. The group subjected to the combined interaction of two RFs showed an increase of HSP70 after 48 h exposure and a significant increase of NO and TNF-α after 72 h. The phagocytic activity of macrophages decreased in all groups as exposure time increased.

Conclusions: Our results indicated a decrease in phagocytic activity and an increase in inflammatory, cytoprotective, and cytotoxic responses in macrophages after continuous and combined exposure of multiple RF signals. Multiple RF interact in everyday life, the immune response in humans is unknown.

Keywords: Combined radiofrequencies; RAW 264.7; macrophage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / radiation effects
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide