Proflavin and microwave radiation: Absence of a mutagenic interaction

Martin L. Meltz, Phyllis Eagan, David N. Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The potential ability of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RFR) in the microwave range to induce mutagenesis, chromosomal aberrations, and sister chromatid exchanges in mammalian cells is being explored in our laboratories. In addition, we have also been examining the ability of simultaneous exposure to RFR and chemical mutagens to alter the genotoxic damage induced by chemical mutagens acting alone. We have performed experiments to determine whether there is an interaction between 2.45‐GHz, pulsed‐wave, RFR and proflavin, a DNA‐intercalating drug. The endpoint studied was forward mutation at the thymidine kinase locus in L5178Y mouse leukemic cells. Any effect on the size distribution of the resulting colonies of mutated cells was also examined. The exposures were performed at net forward powers of 500 or 600 W, resulting in a specific absorption rate (SAR) of ∼40 W/kg. The culture‐medium temperature reached a 3°C maximal increase during the 4‐h exposure; appropriate 37°C and convection‐heating temperature controls (TC) were performed. In no case was there any indication of a statistically significant increase in the induced mutant frequency due to the simultaneous exposure to RFR and proflavin, as compared with the proflavin exposures alone. There was also no indication of any change in the colony‐size distribution of the resulting mutant colonies, neither, and there was no evidence in these experiments of any mutagenic action by the RFR exposure alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


  • L5178Y cells
  • mammalian cells
  • mutation
  • thymidine kinase assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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