Sykes, P. J., McCallum, B. D., Bangay, M. J., Hooker, A. M. and Morley, A. A. Effect of Exposure to 900 MHz Radiofrequency Radiation on Intrachromosomal Recombination in pKZ1 Mice. Radiat. Res. 156, 495–502 (2001).
Radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted from mobile phones is not considered to be directly genotoxic, but it may have downstream effects on cellular DNA. We studied the effect of 4 W/kg pulsed 900 MHz RF radiation on somatic intrachromosomal recombination in the spleen in the pKZ1 recombination mutagenesis model. Somatic intrachromosomal recombination inversion events were detected in spleen tissue of pKZ1 mice by histochemical staining for E. coli β-galactosidase protein in cells in which the lacZ transgene has undergone an inversion event. pKZ1 mice were exposed daily for 30 min to plane-wave fields of 900 MHz with a pulse repetition frequency of 217 Hz and a pulse width of 0.6 ms for 1, 5 or 25 days. Three days after the last exposure, spleen sections were screened for DNA inversion events. There was no significant difference between the control and treated groups in the 1- and 5-day exposure groups, but there was a significant reduction in inversions below the spontaneous frequency in the 25-day exposure group. This observation suggests that exposure to RF radiation can lead to a perturbation in recombination frequency which may have implications for recombination repair of DNA. The biological significance of a reduction below the spontaneous frequency is not known. The number of mice in each treatment group in this study was small (n = 10 or n = 20). Therefore, repetition of this study with a larger number of animals is required to confirm these observations.