Effect of low-dose acute X-irradiation on the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro

Mutat Res. Jun-Jul 1983;110(1):71-82. doi: 10.1016/0027-5107(83)90019-2.


In a coordinated research programme sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes (in vitro) by 250 kV X-rays at low doses (0.4, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 and 30 rad) were determined. Blood from 2 donors was used to conduct one master experiment at these dose levels. The culture time used was 48 h and all samples including the controls were processed according to a standard protocol. The coded slides were scored by investigators from 10 participating laboratories. The main results are the following: (1) the frequencies of all types of chromosome aberrations at 0.4 rad are significantly lower than the control values; (2) there is no increase in the frequencies of dicentrics up to 2 rad and in those of terminal deletions up to 5 rad; (3) the mean frequencies of all aberrations considered together are not significantly different from one another at 1, 2 and 3 rad (P = 0.05); and (4) over the entire dose range the dose-effect relationship is clearly non-linear. A fit of these data to a linear quadratic model (E(D) = c + alpha D + beta D2) showed that the observed total aberration frequencies at doses 1, 2, 3 and 5 rad are below the curve defined by the model. The deviations can be explained by an altered kinetics of aberration production at very low doses probably due to DNA repair mechanisms operating these cells.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Mathematics