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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e46102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046102. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

The effect of combined exposure of 900 MHz radiofrequency fields and doxorubicin in HL-60 cells.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.


Human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells were pre-exposed to non-ionizing 900 MHz radiofrequency fields (RF) at 12 µW/cm(2) power density for 1 hour/day for 3 days and then treated with a chemotherapeutic drug, doxorubicin (DOX, 0.125 mg/L). Several end-points related to toxicity, viz., viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular free calcium (Ca(2+)) and Ca(2+)-Mg(2+) -ATPase activity were measured. The results obtained in un-exposed and sham-exposed control cells were compared with those exposed to RF alone, DOX alone and RF+DOX. The results indicated no significant differences between un-exposed, sham-exposed control cells and those exposed to RF alone while treatment with DOX alone showed a significant decrease in viability, increased apoptosis, decreased MMP, increased Ca(2+) and decreased Ca(2+)-Mg(2+-)ATPase activity. When the latter results were compared with cells exposed RF+DOX, the data showed increased cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, increased MMP, decreased Ca(2+) and increased Ca(2+)-Mg(2+)-ATPase activity. Thus, RF pre-exposure appear to protect the HL-60 cells from the toxic effects of subsequent treatment with DOX. These observations were similar to our earlier data which suggested that pre-exposure of mice to 900 MHz RF at 120 µW/cm(2) power density for 1 hours/day for 14 days had a protective effect in hematopoietic tissue damage induced by subsequent gamma-irradiation.

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