Radiofrequency radiation and the immune system. Part 3. In vitro effects on human immunoglobin and on murine T- and B-lymphocytes

Int J Radiat Biol Relat Stud Phys Chem Med. 1984 Jul;46(1):67-81. doi: 10.1080/09553008414551071.


Radiofrequency radiation (RFR) altered the physical separation of immunoglobulin (Ig) and of T- and B-lymphocytes during liquid gel chromatography. Exposure of human serum to a 10 MHz electric field (8500 V/m, less than or equal to 0.134 W kg-1) during chromatography resulted in accelerated elution of the IgM, IgA and IgG fractions. This effect is consistent with an increase in steric resistance of Ig molecules to the gel pores resulting in rapid elution. The low level of absorbed power employed did not lead to measurable heating of the gel media (25.00 +/- 0.05 degrees C). Effects on lymphocyte separation were investigated by performing immunoaffinity cell chromatography during exposure to 2500 MHz RFR (194 V/m, less than or equal to 0.117 W kg-1). Murine spleen lymphocytes were fractionated at 4.0 degrees C over Ig-derivatized agarose beads into Ig- and Ig+ lymphocyte subpopulations. RFR exposures resulted in premature elution of 19 per cent of the Ig+ (B-cell) population indicating an alteration of Ig binding. Temperature excursions in excess of +/- 0.05 degree C were not observed during exposures. These in vitro results demonstrate that Ig, whether freely diffusing in solution or bound to the lymphocyte cell surface, is influenced by RFR at absorbed power levels below the current recommended safety limit of 0.4 W kg-1 (U.S.A.). A possible mode of interaction for these effects as well as the relevance of these findings to in vivo biological processes are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / radiation effects*
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / radiation effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / radiation effects
  • Immunoglobulin M / radiation effects
  • Immunoglobulins / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / radiation effects*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulins