Mobile phone electromagnetic radiation activates MAPK signaling and regulates viability in Drosophila.
Bioelectromagnetics. 2008 Jul ;29(5):371-9. PMID: 18286519
Mobile phones are widely used in the modern world. However, biological effects of electromagnetic radiation produced by mobile phones are largely unknown. In this report, we show biological effects of the mobile phone 835 MHz electromagnetic field (EMF) in the Drosophila model system. When flies were exposed to the specific absorption rate (SAR) 1.6 W/kg, which is the proposed exposure limit by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), more than 90% of the flies were viable even after the 30 h exposure. However, in the SAR 4.0 W/kg strong EMF exposure, viability dropped from the 12 h exposure. These EMF exposures triggered stress response and increased the production of reactive oxygen species. The EMF exposures also activated extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, but not p38 kinase signaling. Interestingly, SAR 1.6 W/kg activated mainly ERK signaling and expression of an anti-apoptotic gene, whereas SAR 4.0 W/kg strongly activated JNK signaling and expression of apoptotic genes. In addition, SAR 4.0 W/kg amplified the number of apoptotic cells in the fly brain. These findings demonstrate that the exposure limit on electromagnetic radiation proposed by ANSI triggered ERK-survival signaling but the strong electromagnetic radiation activated JNK-apoptotic signaling in Drosophila.