Chauhan, V., Mariampillai, A., Bellier, P. V., Qutob, S. S., Gajda, G. B., Lemay, E., Thansandote, A. and McNamee, J. P. Gene Expression Analysis of a Human Lymphoblastoma Cell Line Exposed In Vitro to an Intermittent 1.9 GHz Pulse-Modulated Radiofrequency Field. Radiat. Res. 165, 424–429 (2006).
This study was designed to determine whether radiofrequency (RF) fields of the type used for wireless communications could elicit a cellular stress response. As general indicators of a cellular stress response, we monitored changes in proto-oncogene and heat-shock protein expression. Exponentially growing human lymphoblastoma cells (TK6) were exposed to 1.9 GHz pulse-modulated RF fields at average specific absorption rates (SARs) of 1 and 10 W/kg. Perturbations in the expression levels of the proto-oncogenes FOS, JUN and MYC after exposure to sham and RF fields were assessed by real-time RT-PCR. In addition, the transcript levels of the cellular stress proteins HSP27 and inducible HSP70 were also monitored. We demonstrated that transcript levels of these genes in RF-field-exposed cells showed no significant difference in relation to the sham treatment group. However, concurrent positive (heat-shock) control samples displayed a significant elevation in the expression of HSP27, HSP70, FOS and JUN. Conversely, the levels of MYC mRNA were found to decline in the positive (heat-shock) control. In conclusion, our study found no evidence that the 1.9 GHz RF-field exposure caused a general stress response in TK6 cells under our experimental conditions.