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J Microsc. 2004 Jan;213(1):20-8.

SNOM and AFM microscopy techniques to study the effect of non-ionizing radiation on the morphological and biochemical properties of human keratinocytes cell line (HaCaT).

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Istituto di Neurobiologia e Medicina Molecolare, Section of Molecular Medicine, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy.


In this study we have employed atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) techniques to study the effect of the interaction between human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and electromagnetic fields at low frequency. HaCaT cells were exposed to a sinusoidal magnetic field at a density of 50 Hz, 1 mT. AFM analysis revealed modification in shape and morphology in exposed cells with an increase in the areas of adhesion between cells. This latter finding was confirmed by SNOM indirect immunofluorescence analysis performed with a fluorescent antibody against the adhesion marker beta4 integrin, which revealed an increase of beta4 integrin segregation in the cell membrane of 50-Hz exposed cells, suggesting that a higher percentage of these cells shows a modified pattern of this adhesion marker.

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