The deleterious effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations occur through non-thermal and thermal effects. Thermal effects occur particularly at long wavelength radiations with heating properties and increase temperature of the tissue. The non-thermal effects are due to the changes in structure and functions of cell membrane, genetic effects, extracellular /intracellular signaling pathways, and oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress referring to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and /or deficiency in antioxidant defense mechanisms acts like a double-edged sword. Therefore, modification of endogenous antioxidants activity and production of ROS have a significant role in controlling such conditions.
The current review study focused on the effects of oxidative stress after exposure to ionizing and non-ionizing radiations on cell functions and antioxidant defense.
The results of many studies suggested that exposure to both ionizing and non-ionizing radiations (e.g., radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted from mobile phones and other wireless technologies) may activate oxidizing events, which transform the atomic structure and change macromolecules structures such as proteins, lipids, and DNA.
It can be concluded that physiological responses of cells to injurious stimuli by changes in ROS production cause impairment of cell functions via oxidative damage, and also cause a physiological phenomenon known as adaptive response. In fact, rate of ROS production, redox state of the cell, previous exposures to harmful agents along with other factors contribute to the prevalence of each of such responses