Category: In vitro studies


Microarrays studies of EMF impact on human culture cells





MAPHYS research program aims to characterize metabolic pathways that are rapidly affected by ex-posing human culture cells to high frequency electromagnetic field. Microarrays technology will allow to obtain an objective and qualitative information on the metabolic pathways that are affected (up- and down-regulated) or unaffected by the electromagnetic field exposition.




LASMEA – Université Blaise Pascal – Clermont-Ferrand




[email protected]



21 months





1) Introduction

MAPHYS research program aims to identify into human culture cells the metabolic pathways that are up- or down-regulated after an exposition to high frequency (900 MHz) electromag-netic field using microarrays, and to determine the physical parameters (frequency, field ampli-tude) which are critical for these responses to arise. MAPHYS steps into the ” in vitro” field of the grant proposal from the Fondation Santé et Radiofréquences.


2) State of the art

MAPHYS concentrates on the cellular scale and limitates itself to the first hour following the EMF exposition to maintain a strict and formal exposition/response relationship. This position has been validated in our laboratory which has demonstrated in plants exposed to low ampli-tude EMF level the accumulation of several transcripts of stress-related genes. The transfer of this methodology to human culture cells, followed by microarrays analysis would allow to de-termine which are the metabolic pathways affected by the irradiation. This program will give an instant vue of the transcriptional state of the cells after EMF exposition.


3) Scientific methodology

The scientific methodology is based on three fundamental aspects:

  • the use of a exposition tool (mode stirred reverberation chamber) which is generating ho-mogenous and isotropic electromagnetic fields that are similar to those present in the real en-vironnement. The strict control of the exposition parameters will allow to study the importance of factors (frequency, amplitude) that are critical for the biological responses.
  • a formal link between EMF exposition and physiological responses (the rapid events taking place during the first hour following the exposition are preferred to minimize eventual interfer-ence with other cellular or environ mental factors).
  • an objective and comparative analysis of the transcriptome of control versus exposed cells us-ing microarrays technology to identify metabolic pathways affected (up- and down-regulated) or unaffected by EMF exposition. Indeed, this methodology does not orientate the investiga-tions to a particular metabolism previously reported to be involved in such responses. Fur-thermore, this approach will give new physiological markers.

4) Partnership, skills

MAPHYS research program is based on a pluridisciplinary collaboration between 2 teams in the same laboratory : LASMEA. A physicist group specialized into electromagnetic compatibility, will in charge of the EMF genesis and the study of its critical parameters (using a mode stirred reverberation chamber). The biologist group specialized into the impact 0f environmental factors, will study the rapid responses associated with EMF exposition.


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