Single- and double-strand DNA breaks in rat brain cells after acute exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation

Int J Radiat Biol. 1996 Apr;69(4):513-21. doi: 10.1080/095530096145814.


We investigated the effects of acute (2-h) exposure to pulsed (2-micros pulse width, 500 pulses s(-1)) and continuous wave 2450-MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA strand breaks in brain cells of rat. The spatial averaged power density of the radiation was 2mW/cm2, which produced a whole-body average-specific absorption rate of 1.2W/kg. Single- and double-strand DNA breaks in individual brain cells were measured at 4h post-exposure using a microgel electrophoresis assay. An increase in both types of DNA strand breaks was observed after exposure to either the pulsed or continuous-wave radiation, No significant difference was observed between the effects of the two forms of radiation. We speculate that these effects could result from a direct effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy on DNA molecules and/or impairment of DNA-damage repair mechanisms in brain cells. Our data further support the results of earlier in vitro and in vivo studies showing effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • DNA / radiation effects*
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair
  • Male
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • DNA