Purpose: To study if prolonged in vitro exposure to 1800MHz radiofrequency (RF) could exert an effect on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from young and elderly donors by affecting apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential and heat shock protein (HSP) 70 levels.
Materials and methods: Endpoints were analysed in the presence or absence of the apoptosis‐inducing agent 2‐deoxy‐D‐ribose. Three different signal modulations typical of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) system were applied. The modulations are widely used in mobile telephony (GSM Basic, discontinuous transmission [DTX] and Talk) at specific absorption rates of 1.4 and 2.0Wkg−1.
Results: In all conditions and for all endpoints tested, there was no significant difference between RF‐ and sham‐exposed cells.
Conclusion: 1800MHz RF could not induce apoptosis by itself or affect the apoptotic phenomenon when induced by an apoptotic agent. Moreover, RF did not modify the mitochondrial functionality and the expression of HSP 70.