Sanchez, S., Haro, E., Ruffié, G., Veyret, B. and Lagroye, I. In Vitro Study of the Stress Response of Human Skin Cells to GSM-1800 Mobile Phone Signals Compared to UVB Radiation and Heat Shock. Radiat. Res. 167, 572–580 (2007).
The evolution of mobile phone technology is toward an increase of the carrier frequency up to 2.45 GHz. Absorption of radiofrequency (RF) radiation becomes more superficial as the frequency increases. This increasingly superficial absorption of RF radiation by the skin, which is the first organ exposed to RF radiation, may lead to stress responses in skin cells. We thus investigated the expression of three heat-shock proteins (HSP70, HSC70, HSP27) using immunohistochemistry and induction of apoptosis by flow cytometry on human primary keratinocytes and fibroblasts. A well-characterized exposure system, SXC 1800, built by the IT'IS foundation was used at 1800 MHz, with a 217 Hz modulation. We tested a 48-h exposure at an SAR of 2 W/kg (ICNIRP local exposure limit). Skin cells were also irradiated with a 600 mJ/cm2 single dose of UVB radiation and subjected to heat shock (45°C, 20 min) as positive controls for apoptosis and HSP expression, respectively. The results showed no effect of a 48-h GSM-1800 exposure at 2 W/kg on either keratinocytes or fibroblasts, in contrast to UVB-radiation or heat-shock treatments, which injured cells. We thus conclude that the GSM-1800 signal does not act as a stress factor on human primary skin cells in vitro.