Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

ROS release and Hsp70 expression after exposure to 1,800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in primary human monocytes and lymphocytes

  • M. Lantow
  • M. Lupke
  • J. Frahm
  • M. O. Mattsson
  • N. Kuster
  • M. Simko
Original Paper


The aim of this study is to investigate if 1,800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) can induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) release and/or changes in heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression in human blood cells, using different exposure and co-exposure conditions. Human umbilical cord blood-derived monocytes and lymphocytes were used to examine ROS release after exposure to continuous wave or different GSM signals (GSM-DTX and GSM-Talk) at 2 W/kg for 30 or 45 min of continuous or intermittent (5 min ON/5 min OFF) exposure. The cells were exposed to incubator conditions, to sham, to RF-EMF, or to chemicals in parallel. Cell stimulation with the phorbol ester phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA; 1 μM) was used as positive control for ROS release. To investigate the effects on Hsp70 expression, the human monocytes were exposed to the GSM-DTX signal at 2 W/kg for 45 min, or to heat treatment (42°C) as positive control. ROS production and Hsp70 expression were determined by flow cytometric analysis. The data were compared to sham and/or to control values and the statistical analysis was performed by the Student’s t-test (P<0.05). The PMA treatment induced a significant increase in ROS production in human monocytes and lymphocytes when the data were compared to sham or to incubator controls. After continuous or intermittent GSM-DTX signal exposure (2 W/kg), a significantly different ROS production was detected in human monocytes if the data were compared to sham. However, this significant difference appeared due to the lowered value of ROS release during sham exposure. In human lymphocytes, no differences could be detected if data were compared either to sham or to incubator control. The Hsp70 expression level after 0, 1, and 2 h post-exposure to GSM-DTX signal at 2 W/kg for 1 h did not show any differences compared to the incubator or to sham control.


Reactive Oxygen Species Production Human Monocyte Hsp70 Expression Specific Absorption Rate Incubator Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank J. Schuderer and D. Spät from IT’IS, Zürich, Switzerland, for the technical analysis and decoding the blinded data of RF exposure. We are grateful to Prof. Dr E. Koepcke and his team from the Südstadt Clinic Center, Rostock (Germany) for providing the human umbilical cord blood and S. Hannemann for technical help during the flow cytometry analysis. This work is supported by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Salzgitter, Germany and is a part of the German Mobile Phone Research Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Lantow
    • 1
  • M. Lupke
    • 1
  • J. Frahm
    • 1
  • M. O. Mattsson
    • 2
  • N. Kuster
    • 3
  • M. Simko
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Environmental Physiology, Institute of Cell Biology and Biosystems TechnologyUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Department of Natural Sciences, Life Science CenterÖrebro UniversityOrebroSweden
  3. 3.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ZurichETH Zentrum, Rämistrasse 101ZurichSwitzerland

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