n Medical Technology SA - Micronucleus formation in lymphocytes after exposure to low-dose gamma and neutron radiation

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-5528



<I>In vitro&lt;/I&gt; exposure of peripheral lymphocytes to ionising radiation results in the formation of small chromosome fragments (micronuclei) that may persist for the lifetime of the cell. An increased frequency of micronuclei in a cell may be considered as a biomarker of permanent genotoxic damage. This study investigated the response of isolated lymphocytes to two types of radiation, i.e. low-LET (low linear energy transfer) and high-LET radiation. <BR>Micronucleus formation in isolated lymphocytes was studied by employing the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (CBMN) assay. Cells from one donor were isolated, stimulated with a mitogen (PHA), irradiated with both gamma and neutron radiation and incubated at 37ºC and 5% CO2 for 44 hours after which cyokinesis was blocked by adding Cytocalasin B. After a total incubation period of 72 hours, cells were harvested and prepared for analysis. Micronuclei were analysed with fluorescent microscopy and doseresponse curves were constructed. <BR>Interexperimental variation between the three experiments was unusually high. This appeared to be due to different lots of PHA that were used during the study and should be investigated further. The assay was sensitive enough to distinguish between low- and high- LET radiation doses above 0.5 Gy. Lymphocytes responded to both radiation qualities in a dose responsive manner.

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