No evidence of increased mutation rates at microsatellite loci in offspring of A-bomb survivors

Radiat Res. 2010 Feb;173(2):205-13. doi: 10.1667/RR1991.1.


To evaluate the genetic effects of A-bomb radiation, we examined mutations at 40 microsatellite loci in exposed families (father-mother-offspring, mostly uni-parental exposures), which consisted of 66 offspring having a mean paternal dose of 1.87 Gy and a mean maternal dose of 1.27 Gy. The control families consisted of 63 offspring whose parents either were exposed to low doses of radiation (< 0.01 Gy) or were not in the cities of Hiroshima or Nagasaki at the time of the bombs. We found seven mutations in the exposed alleles (7/2,789; mutation rate 0.25 x 10(-2)/locus/generation) and 26 in the unexposed alleles (26/7,465; 0.35 x 10(-2)/locus/generation), which does not indicate an effect from parental exposure to radiation. Although we could not assign the parental origins of four mutations, the conclusion may hold since even if we assume that these four mutations had occurred in the exposed alleles, the estimated mean mutation rate would be 0.39 x 10(-2) in the exposed group [(7 + 4)/2,789)], which is slightly higher than 0.35 x 10(-2) in the control group, but the difference is not statistically significant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Nuclear Weapons*
  • Survival*