Primary DNA damage in human blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to 2450 MHz radiofrequency radiation

Vijayalaxmi, Belinda Z. Leal, Maria Szilagyi, Thomas J. Prihoda, Martin L. Meltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Human peripheral blood samples collected from three healthy human volunteers were exposed in vitro to pulsedwave 2450 MHz radiofrequency (RF) radiation for 2 h. The RF radiation was generated with a net forward power of 21 W and transmitted from a standard gain rectangular antenna horn in a vertically downward direction. The average power density at the position of the cells in the flask was 5 mW/cm2. The mean specific absorption rate, calculated by finite difference time domain analysis, was 2.135 (±0.005 SE) W/kg. Aliquots of whole blood that were sham-exposed or exposed in vitro to 50 cGy of ionizing radiation from a 137Cs γ-ray source were used as controls. The lymphocytes were examined to determine the extent of primary DNA damage (single-strand breaks and alkali-labile lesions) using the alkaline comet assay with three different slide-processing schedules. The assay was performed on the cells immediately after the exposures and at 4 h after incubation of the exposed blood at 37 ± 1°C to allow time for rejoining of any strand breaks present immediately after exposure, i.e. to assess the capacity of the lymphocytes to repair this type of DNA damage. At either time, the data indicated no significant differences between RF- radiation- and sham-exposed lymphocytes with respect to the comet tail length, fluorescence intensity of the migrated DNA in the tail, and tail moment. The conclusions were similar for each of the three different comet assay slide-processing schedules examined. In contrast, the response of lymphocytes exposed to ionizing radiation was significantly different from RF-radiation- and sham-exposed cells. Thus, under the experimental conditions tested, there is no evidence for induction of DNA single-strand breaks and alkali-labile lesions in human blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to pulsed- wave 2450 MHz radiofrequency radiation, either immediately or at 4 h after exposure. (C) 2000 by Radiation Research Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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