Impact of Mobile Phone Specific Electromagnetic Fields on DNA Damage Caused by Occupationally Relevant Exposures: Results of ex vivo Experiments with Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Different Demographic Groups

Author: Miroslav Mišík1, Michael Kundi2, Nadine Worel1, Franziska Ferk1, Hans-Peter Hutter2, Michael Grusch1, Armen Nersesyan1, Denise Herrera Morales1, Siegfried Knasmueller1
1 Center for Cancer Research, Medical University of Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, A 1090 Vienna, Austria.
2 Center for Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Conference/Journal: Mutagenesis
Date published: 2023 Jul 7
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1093/mutage/gead022. , Word Count: 244

Aim of this study was to investigate if age and body mass of humans have an impact on the DNA damaging properties of high-frequency mobile phone-specific electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF, 1950 MHz, UMTS signal) and if this form of radiation has an impact on the genotoxic effects of occupationally relevant exposures. Pooled peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from three groups (young normal weight, young obese and older age normal weight individuals) were exposed to different doses of HF-EMF (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 W/kg specific absorption rate - SAR) and simultaneously or sequentially to different chemicals which cause DNA damage (CrO3, NiCl2, benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide - BPDE, and 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide - 4NQO) via different molecular mechanisms. We found no difference in regard to the background values in the three groups but a significant increase of DNA damage (81% without and 36% with serum) in cells from old participants after radiation with 1.0 W/kg SAR 16 h. In combined treatment experiments we found no impact of the UMTS-signal on chemically induced DNA damage in the different groups in general. However, a moderate decrease of DNA damage was seen in simultaneous treatment experiments with BPDE and 1.0 W/kg SAR in the young obese group (decline 18%). Taken together our findings indicate that HF-EMF cause DNA damage in PBMC from older subjects (69.1 years). Furthermore, they show that the radiation does not increase induction of DNA damage by occupationally relevant chemicals.

Keywords: DNA damage; chemical co-exposure; comet assay; mobile phone radiation.

PMID: 37418160 DOI: 10.1093/mutage/gead022