DNA repair after γ irradiation in lymphocytes exposed to low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields

A. Cossarizza, D. Monti, P. Sola, G. Moschini, R. Cadossi, F. Bersani, C. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of exposure to extremely low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on DNA repair capability and on cell survival in human lymphocytes damaged in vitro with γ rays was studied by two different micromethods. In the first assay, which measures DNA repair synthesis (unscheduled DNA synthesis, UDS), lymphocyte cultures were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) for 66 h and then treated with hydroxyurea (which blocks DNA replication), irradiated with 100 Gy of 60Co, pulsed with [3H]thymidine ([3H]TdR), and then exposed to pulsed EMFs for 6 h (the period in which cells repaired DNA damage). In the second assay, which measures cell survival after radiation or chemical damage, lymphocytes were first irradiated with graded doses of γ rays or treated with diverse antiproliferative agents, and then stimulated with PHA, cultured for 72 h, and pulsed with [3H]TdR for the last 6 h of culture. In this case, immediately after the damage induced by either the radiation or chemicals, cultures were exposed to pulsed EMFs for 72 h, during which cell proliferation took place. Exposure to pulsed EMFs did not affect either UDS or cell survival, suggesting that this type of nonionizing radiation - to which humans may be exposed in the environment, and which is used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes - does not affect DNA repair mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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