Continuous Exposure to 1.7 GHz LTE Electromagnetic Fields Increases Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species to Decrease Human Cell Proliferation and Induce Senescence

Jisu Choi, Kyeongrae Min, Sangbong Jeon, Nam Kim, Jeong Ki Pack, Kiwon Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the rapid development of mobile phone technology, we are continuously exposed to 1.7 GHz LTE radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs), but their biological effects have not been clarified. Here, we investigated the non-thermal cellular effects of these RF-EMFs on human cells, including human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs), Huh7 and Hep3B liver cancer stem cells (CSCs), HeLa and SH-SY5Y cancer cells, and normal fibroblast IMR-90 cells. When continuously exposed to 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF for 72 h at 1 and 2 SAR, cell proliferation was consistently decreased in all the human cells. The anti-proliferative effect was higher at 2 SAR than 1 SAR and was less severe in ASCs. The exposure to RF-EMF for 72 h at 1 and 2 SAR did not induce DNA double strand breaks or apoptotic cell death, but did trigger a slight delay in the G1 to S cell cycle transition. Cell senescence was also clearly observed in ASC and Huh7 cells exposed to RF-EMF at 2 SAR for 72 h. Intracellular ROS increased in these cells and the treatment with an ROS scavenger recapitulated the anti-proliferative effect of RF-EMF. These observations strongly suggest that 1.7 GHz LTE RF-EMF decrease proliferation and increase senescence by increasing intracellular ROS in human cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9238
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate Anna Song in the lab for editing English of this manuscript. This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIT) [No. NRF-2016M3A9C6918275], and by Korea Mobile EMF consortium. J. Choi was partially supported by Brain Korea (BK) 21 PLUS of 2018~2019.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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