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Cellular Neoplastic Transformation Induced by 916 MHz Microwave Radiation


There has been growing concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to microwave radiations, such as those emitted by mobile phones. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cellular neoplastic transformation effects of electromagnetic fields. 916 MHz continuous microwave was employed in our study to simulate the electromagnetic radiation of mobile phone. NIH/3T3 cells were adopted in our experiment due to their sensitivity to carcinogen or cancer promoter in environment. They were divided randomly into one control group and three microwave groups. The three microwave groups were exposed to 916 MHz EMF for 2 h per day with power density of 10, 50, and 90 w/m2, respectively, in which 10 w/m2 was close to intensity near the antenna of mobile phone. The morphology and proliferation of NIH/3T3 cells were examined and furthermore soft agar culture and animal carcinogenesis assay were carried out to determine the neoplastic promotion. Our experiments showed NIH/3T3 cells changed in morphology and proliferation after 5–8 weeks exposure and formed clone in soft agar culture after another 3–4 weeks depending on the exposure intensity. In the animal carcinogenesis study, lumps developed on the back of SCID mice after being inoculated into exposed NIH/3T3 cells for more than 4 weeks. The results indicate that microwave radiation can promote neoplastic transformation of NIH/3T3cells.

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This study was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2011CB503700/2011CB503702), Research Program of Beijing Municipal Education Commission (KM200910005016), and Fundamental Research Fund of the Beijing Municipal Education Commission Science and Technology Innovation Platform (JX015999201001). The author would like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Jintao Li and Dr. Linna Zhao.

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Correspondence to Dongmei Hao or Yanjun Zeng.

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Yang, L., Hao, D., Wang, M. et al. Cellular Neoplastic Transformation Induced by 916 MHz Microwave Radiation. Cell Mol Neurobiol 32, 1039–1046 (2012).

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  • Mobile phone
  • Electromagnetic field
  • Microwave radiation
  • Neoplastic transformation