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Selenium Reduces Mobile Phone (900 MHz)-Induced Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Function, and Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells

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Exposure to mobile phone-induced electromagnetic radiation (EMR) may affect biological systems by increasing free oxygen radicals, apoptosis, and mitochondrial depolarization levels although selenium may modulate the values in cancer. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of 900 MHz radiation on the antioxidant redox system, apoptosis, and mitochondrial depolarization levels in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. Cultures of the cancer cells were divided into four main groups as controls, selenium, EMR, and EMR + selenium. In EMR groups, the cells were exposed to 900 MHz EMR for 1 h (SAR value of the EMR was 0.36 ± 0.02 W/kg). In selenium groups, the cells were also incubated with sodium selenite for 1 h before EMR exposure. Then, the following values were analyzed: (a) cell viability, (b) intracellular ROS production, (c) mitochondrial membrane depolarization, (d) cell apoptosis, and (e) caspase-3 and caspase-9 values. Selenium suppressed EMR-induced oxidative cell damage and cell viability (MTT) through a reduction of oxidative stress and restoring mitochondrial membrane potential. Additionally, selenium indicated anti-apoptotic effects, as demonstrated by plate reader analyses of apoptosis levels and caspase-3 and caspase-9 values. In conclusion, 900 MHz EMR appears to induce apoptosis effects through oxidative stress and mitochondrial depolarization although incubation of selenium seems to counteract the effects on apoptosis and oxidative stress.

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The authors wish to thank Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selçuk Çömlekçi (Electronics and Communication Engineering, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey), for calculation of the specific absorption rates. MN formulated the present hypothesis and was responsible for writing the report. MCK and BÇ were responsible for analysis of the data. The project lasted for 3 months. MCK visited the Department of Biophysics for 2 months during the project. Abstract of the study was published in the 25th Turkish National Biophysics Congress, 24–26 September 2013, Trabzon, Turkey.

Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict interest in the study.


The study was supported by the Unit of Scientific Research Project (BAP), İzmir Katip Çelebi University, Turkey (Project Number: BAP: 2013-2-TSBP-09).

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Correspondence to Mustafa Nazıroğlu.

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Kahya, M.C., Nazıroğlu, M. & Çiğ, B. Selenium Reduces Mobile Phone (900 MHz)-Induced Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Function, and Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 160, 285–293 (2014).

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