Cell Biology and Toxicology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 471–478 | Cite as

Absence of direct effect of low-power millimeter-wave radiation at 60.4 GHz on endoplasmic reticulum stress

  • Christophe Nicolas Nicolaz
  • Maxim Zhadobov
  • Fabienne Desmots
  • Ronan Sauleau
  • Daniel Thouroude
  • Denis Michel
  • Yves Le Drean


Millimeter waves (MMW) at frequencies around 60 GHz will be used in the very near future in the emerging local wireless communication systems and the potential health hazards of artificially induced environmental exposures represent a major public concern. The main aim of this study was to investigate the potential effects of low-power MMW radiations on cellular physiology. To this end, the human glial cell line, U-251 MG, was exposed to 60.4 GHz radiation at a power density of 0.14 mW/cm2 and potential effect of MMW radiations on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was investigated. ER is very sensitive to environmental insults and its homeostasis is altered in various pathologies. Through several assay systems, we found that exposure to 60.4 GHz does not modify ER protein folding and secretion, nor induces XBP1 or ATF6 transcription factors maturation. Moreover, expression of ER-stress sensor, BiP/GRP78 was examined by real-time PCR, in exposed or non-exposed cells to MMW radiations. Our data demonstrated the absence of significant changes in mRNA levels for BiP/GRP78. Our results showed that ER homeostasis does not undergo any modification at molecular level after exposure to low-power MMW radiation at 60.4 GHz. This report is the first study of ER-stress induction by MMW radiations.


60 GHz BiP/GRP78 Biological effects Cellular stress Non-ionizing radiation 



activating transcription factor 6


immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein, also known as GRP78: 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein


electromagnetic field


endoplasmic reticulum


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


inositol-requiring enzyme 1


millimeter wave


secreted alkaline phosphatase


polymerase chain reaction


unfolded protein response


wireless local area network


X-box binding protein 1



This research was supported by the French “Agence Nationale de la Recherche” ANR 2006 under project “HIMWR” and the Health and Radiofrequencies Foundation (Fondation Santé et Radiofréquences, France) under project “StressOM”, CNN was supported by fellowship from the French ministry of higher education and research (MENRT), and FD by fellowship from the “Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer” (ARC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Nicolas Nicolaz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maxim Zhadobov
    • 2
    • 4
  • Fabienne Desmots
    • 1
  • Ronan Sauleau
    • 2
  • Daniel Thouroude
    • 2
  • Denis Michel
    • 1
  • Yves Le Drean
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Intracellular Protein Homeostasis, IFR 140, UMR CNRS 6026University of Rennes 1RennesFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes, UMR CNRS 6164University of Rennes 1RennesFrance
  3. 3.Équipe “Homéostasie intracellulaire des protéines” (Hip), UMR CNRS 6026Université de Rennes 1Rennes CedexFrance
  4. 4.Center for Biomedical PhysicsTemple University Medical SchoolPhiladelphiaUSA

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