Investigation of oxidative damage, antioxidant balance, DNA repair genes, and apoptosis due to radiofrequency-induced adaptive response in mice

Electromagn Biol Med. 2022 Oct 2;41(4):389-401. doi: 10.1080/15368378.2022.2117187. Epub 2022 Sep 5.


This study aims to determine whether exposure to non-ionizing radiofrequency fields could induce an adaptive response (AR) in adult mice and to reveal potential molecular mechanisms triggered by RF-induced AR. The study was performed on 24 adult male Swiss-Albino mice. The average mass of the mice was 37 g. Four groups of adult mice, each consisting of 6, were formed. The radiofrequency group (R) and the adaptive response group (RB) were exposed to 900 MHz of global system for mobile communications (GSM) signal at 0.339 W/kg (1 g average specific absorption rate) 4 h/day for 7 days, while the control group (C) and the bleomycin group (B) were not exposed. 20 minutes after the last radiofrequency field (RF) exposure, the mice in the B and RB groups were injected intraperitoneal (ip) bleomycin (BLM), 37.5 mg/kg. All the animals were sacrificed 30 minutes after the BLM injection. Oxidative damage and antioxidant mechanism were subsequently investigated in the blood samples. Changes in the expression of the genes involved in DNA repair were detected in the liver tissue. TUNEL method was used to determine the apoptosis developed by DNA fragmentation in the liver tissue. The RB group, which produced an adaptive response, was compared with the control group. According to the results, the increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the RB group may have played an important role in triggering the adaptive response and producing the required minimum stress level. Furthermore, tumor suppressor 53(p53), oxo guanine DNA glycosylase (OGG-1) levels responsible for DNA repair mechanism genes expression were increased in conjunction with the increase in ROS. The change in the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx-1) gene expression were not statistically significant. The antioxidant enzyme levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were decreased in the group with adaptive response. According to the data obtained from terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) analysis, apoptosis was decreased in the RB group due to the decrease in cell death, which might have resulted from an increase in gene expression responsible for DNA repair mechanisms. The results of our study show that exposure to RF radiation may create a protective reaction against the bleomycin. The minimal oxidative stress due to the RF exposure leads to an adaptive response in the genes that play a role in the DNA repair mechanism and enzymes, enabling the survival of the cell.

Keywords: DNA oxidative damage; Radiofrequency radiation; adaptive response; bleomycin; stress response.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants* / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Bleomycin / adverse effects
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Glycosylases / metabolism
  • DNA Repair*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Antioxidants
  • Bleomycin
  • Catalase
  • DNA Glycosylases
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53