Effect of high-frequency electromagnetic fields on trophoblastic connexins.
Reprod Toxicol. 2009 Jul ;28(1):59-65. Epub 2009 Apr 5. PMID: 19490996
Connexins (Cx) are membrane proteins able to influence trophoblast functions. Here we investigated the effect of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) on Cx expression and localization in extravillous trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo. We also analysed cell ultrastructural changes induced by HF-EMF exposure. Samples were exposed to pulse-modulated 1817 MHz sinusoidal waves (GSM-217 Hz; 1h: SAR of 2 W/kg). Cx mRNA expression was assessed through semi-quantitative RT-PCR, protein expression by Western blotting, protein localization by indirect immunofluorescence, cell ultrastructure using electron microscopy. HF-EMF exposure significantly and selectively increased Cx40 and Cx43, without altering protein expression. Nevertheless, Cx40 and Cx43 lost their punctuate fluorescence within the cell membrane, becoming diffuse after HF-EMF exposure. Electron microscopy evidenced a sharp decrease in intercellular gap junction-like structures. This study is the first to indicate that exposure of extravillous trophoblast to GSM-217 Hz signals can modify Cx gene expression, Cx protein localization and cellular ultrastructure.