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J Radiat Res. 2015 May;56(3):467-74. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rru126. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

The effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields on T cell function during development.

Author information

1
Department of Hygienic Chemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, 2-522-1 Noshio, Kiyose, Tokyo, 204-8588, Japan.
2
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako, Saitama, 351-0197, Japan ushiyama@niph.go.jp.
3
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Gokiso-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, 466-8555, Japan.
4
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Public Health, 2-3-6 Minami, Wako, Saitama, 351-0197, Japan.

Abstract

With the widespread use of radio-frequency devices, it is increasingly important to understand the biological effects of the associated electromagnetic fields. Thus, we investigated the effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on T cell responses during development due to the lack of science-based evidence for RF-EMF effects on developmental immune systems. Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were exposed to 2.14-GHz wideband code division multiple-access (W-CDMA) RF signals at a whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.2 W/kg. Exposures were performed for a total of 9 weeks spanning in utero development, lactation and the juvenile period. Rats were continuously exposed to RF-EMF for 20 h/day, 7 days/week. Comparisons of control and exposed rats using flow cytometry revealed no changes in the numbers of CD4/CD8 T cells, activated T cells or regulatory T cells among peripheral blood cells, splenocytes and thymocytes. Expression levels of 16 genes that regulate the immunological Th1/Th2 paradigm were analyzed using real-time PCR in the spleen and thymus tissues of control and RF-EMF-exposed rats. Although only the Il5 gene was significantly regulated in spleen tissues, Il4, Il5 and Il23a genes were significantly upregulated in thymus tissues following exposure to RF-EMF. However, ELISAs showed no changes in serum IL-4 protein concentrations. These data indicate no adverse effects of long-term RF-EMF exposure on immune-like T cell populations, T cell activation, or Th1/Th2 balance in developing rats, although significant transcriptional effects were observed.

KEYWORDS:

RF-EMF exposure in vivo; T cell subset analyses; Th1/Th2 balance; developmental stage

PMID:
25835473
PMCID:
PMC4426920
DOI:
10.1093/jrr/rru126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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