Belyaev I, Markova E, Malmgren L

Microwaves from Mobile Phones Inhibit 53BP1 Focus Formation in Human Stem Cells Stronger than in Differentiated Cells: Possible Mechanistic Link to Cancer Risk
Environ Health Perspect Oct 2009

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Environmental Health

Belyaev I, Markova E, Malmgren L
Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Cancer Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
MAX-lab, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

915, 1947.4 MHz
0,037; 0,039 SAR

Background
: It is widely accepted that DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) and their misrepair in stem cells are critical events in the multistage origination of various leukemia and tumors including gliomas.
Objectives: We studied whether microwaves (MW) from mobile phone of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and Universal Global Telecommunications System (UMTS) induce DSB or affect DSB repair in stem cells.
Methods: 53BP1 foci that are typically formed at the sites of DSB location (referred to as DNA repair foci) were analyzed by laser confocal microscopy.
Results: We report for the first time that MW from mobile phones inhibit formation of 53BP1 foci in human primary fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). These data parallel our previous findings for human lymphocytes. Importantly, the same GSM carrier frequency (915 MHz) and UMTS frequency band (1947.4 MHz) was effective for all cell types. Exposure at 905 MHz did not inhibit 53BP1 foci in differentiated cells, both fibroblasts and lymphocytes, while some effects at 905 MHz were seen in stem cells. Contrary to fibroblasts, stem cell did not adapt to chronic exposure during two weeks.
Conclusions: Strongest MW effects were always observed in stem cells that may suggest both significant misbalance in DSB repair and severe stress response. Our findings that stem cells are most sensitive to MW exposure and react to more frequencies than differentiated cells may be important for cancer risk assessment and indicate that stem cells are most relevant cellular model for validating the safe mobile communication signals.

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