Evaluation of the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in a population exposed to prolonged low dose-rate 60Co γ-irradiation

Wanhua A. Hsieh, Chyiyao Ni, Jeng Jong Hwang, Jye Siung Fang, Shuan Pei Lin, Yiping A. Lin, T. W. Huang, Wushou P. Chang

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Chromosomal aberration analysis in peripheral blood lymphocytes was performed to evaluate late cytogenetic effects of long-term low dose-rate γ-irradiation exposure among students and residents exposed in radiocontaminated buildings. Materials and methods: Blood samples were taken from 1913 subjects (age 17.8±13.6, mean±SD) 5-8 years after their relocation from radioactive environments as well as from 176 non-exposed subjects (age 29.6±11.9) from the local community. Their lymphocytes were cultured for 48 h and metaphase spreads were prepared. A total of 208 900 metaphases were analysed for different types of chromosomal aberrations. Results: Relatively higher frequencies of translocations (2.1 × 10-3), rings (0.6 × 10-3) and dicentrics (0.6 × 10-3) were noted in the exposed population as compared with the non-exposed reference populations. Moreover, 356 (78.6%) of the 453 inversions were found on 14q11.2q32 in the exposed population. Among 392 well-demonstrated translocations, 167 (42.6%) and 175 (44.6%) occurred in chromosomes 7 and 14, respectively, while 139 (35.5%) occurred as t(7;14). In particular, the aberrations t(7;14)(p13;q11.2), t(7;14)(p15;q11.2) and t(7;14)(q36;q11.2) were the most prevalent, occurring with frequencies of 19 (13.7%), 20 (14.4%) and 27 (19.4%), respectively. In these, 3205 breakpoints were documented, with chromosomes 7, 9 and 14 shown to carry significantly higher frequencies of breakpoints than expected (χ2-test, p<0.0001). A further six hotspots were identified on 7p15 (57, 1.8%), 7q36 (42, 1.3%), 9q12 (244, 7.6%), 9q13 (86, 2.7%), 14q11.2 (509, 15.9%) and 14q32 (387, 12.1%) in the exposed population. Conclusion: In comparison with the unexposed population, we observed increased frequencies of various chromosomal aberrations in this human population with previous exposure to prolonged low dose-rate γ-radiation. Moreover, several hotspot breakpoints and inversions and translocations were observed on chromosomes 7 and 14.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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