Biological Impact of Low Dose-Rate Simulated Solar Particle Event Radiation in Vivo


Chang, P.Y., Doppalapudi, R., Bakke, J. et al. Biological impact of low dose-rate simulated solar particle event radiation in vivo. Radiat Environ Biophys 49, 379–388 (2010).


C57Bl6-lacZ animals were exposed to a range of low dose-rate simulated solar particle event (sSPE) radiation at the NASA-sponsored Research Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Peripheral blood was harvested from animals from 1 to 12 days after total body irradiation (TBI) to quantify the level of circulating reticulocytes (RET) and micronucleated reticulocytes (MN-RET) as an early indicator of radiation-induced genotoxicity. Bone marrow lymphocytes and hippocampal tissues from each animal were collected at 12 days and up to two months, to evaluate dose-dependent late effects after sSPE exposure. Early hematopoietic changes show that the % RET was reduced up to 3 days in response to radiation exposure but recovered at 12 days postirradiation. The % MN-RET in peripheral blood was temporally regulated and dependant on the total accumulated dose. Total chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes increased linearly with dose within a week after radiation and remained significantly higher than the control values at 4 weeks after exposure. The level of aberrations in the irradiated animals returned to control levels by 8 weeks postirradiation. Measurements of chromosome 2 and 8 specific aberrations indicate that, consistent with conventional giemsa-staining methods, the level of aberrations is also not significantly higher than in control animals at 8 weeks postirradiation. The hippocampus was surveyed for differential transcriptional regulation of genes known to be associated with neurogenesis. Our results showed differential expression of neurotrophin and their associated receptor genes within 1 week after sSPE exposure. Progressive changes in the profile of expressed genes known to be involved in neurogenic signaling pathways were dependent on the sSPE dose. Our results to date suggest that radiation-induced changes in the hematopoietic system, i.e., chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes, are transient and do not persist past 4 weeks after radiation. On the other hand, alteration in the profile of genes known to be involved in neurotrophic functions in the hippocampal tissue appears to persist for up to 8 weeks after radiation exposure. Such temporal changes confirm that, although cytogenetic changes after a single dose of low-dose and low-dose-rate protons appear to be transient, the impact of this exposure is sufficient to lead to persistent dynamic changes in neuronal tissues long after the initial radiation exposure.

Keywords: Chromosome Aberration, Chromosome Painting, Chromosomal Aberration, Acentric Fragment, Solar Particle Event

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