Cervellati F, Franceschetti G, Lunghi L, Franzelli
Effect of high-frequency electromagnetic fields on trophoblastic connexins
Reprod Toxicol. 2009 Jul; 28(1):59-65.
Cervellati F, Franceschetti G, Lunghi L, Franzellitti S, Valbonesi P, Fabbri E, Biondi C, Vesce F.
Department of Biology and Evolution, Section of General Physiology, University of Ferrara, via L. Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.
1817 MHz PW
2 SAR average
Connexins (Cx) are membrane proteins able to influence trophoblast functions. Here we investigated the effect of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) on Cx expression and localization in extravillous trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo. We also analysed cell ultrastructural changes induced by HF-EMF exposure. Samples were exposed to pulse-modulated 1817 MHz sinusoidal waves (GSM-217 Hz; 1h: SAR of 2 W/kg). Cx mRNA expression was assessed through semi-quantitative RT-PCR, protein expression by Western blotting, protein localization by indirect immunofluorescence, cell ultrastructure using electron microscopy. HF-EMF exposure significantly and selectively increased Cx40 and Cx43, without altering protein expression. Nevertheless, Cx40 and Cx43 lost their punctuate fluorescence within the cell membrane, becoming diffuse after HF-EMF exposure. Electron microscopy evidenced a sharp decrease in intercellular gap junction-like structures. This study is the first to indicate that exposure of extravillous trophoblast to GSM-217 Hz signals can modify Cx gene expression, Cx protein localization and cellular ultrastructure.