Cellular Biology Aspects of Mobile Phone Radiation

Part of the Advances in Electromagnetic Fields in Living Systems book series (AEFL, volume 5)


This chapter provides a summary of the cellular effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields generated by the increased use of cell phones and their base stations. In vitro studies of the effects of RF fields can mainly be classified into studies of genotoxic and nongenotoxic effects. Genotoxic effects include DNA strand breaks, micronucleus formation, mutation, and chromosomal aberration; i.e., changes involving damage to DNA. Nongenotoxic effects refer to changes in cellular function, including cell proliferation, cellular signal transduction, and gene expression (mRNA and protein). In general, currently available reports suggest that (1) RF energy does not cleave intracellular DNA directly, since most genotoxicity studies have shown negative effects. Cells may be damaged at extremely high SARs, mainly due to the thermal effect of RF fields; (2) some interesting cellular responses associated with stress proteins; i.e., heat-shock protein production and phosphorylation are induced by RF field. However, the results are inconsistent, perhaps due to differences in cell lines, RF exposure conditions, and exposure devices – the reproduction of results in different laboratories would be important; and (3) Microarray analysis has not provided definite evidence of an effect of RF exposure on cellular functions, including apoptosis, the immune system, and ROS production. Thus the current published evidence does not allow a definite conclusion regarding the effects at a cellular level. Studies on RF effects are ongoing worldwide. The rapid development of biotechnology has increased the potential for detection of microresponses in cells and genes, and future studies of RF effects should be performed using improved biotechnological methods.


Chromosomal Aberration Comet Assay Code Division Multiple Access Sister Chromatid Exchange Time Division Multiple Access 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiological Life Sciences, Graduate School of Health SciencesHirosaki UniversityHirosakiJapan

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