Gamma radiation at a human relevant low dose rate is genotoxic in mice

Even today, 70?years after Hiroshima and accidents like in Chernobyl and Fukushima, we still have limited knowledge about the health effects of low dose rate (LDR) radiation. Despite their human relevance after occupational and accidental exposure, only few animal studies on the genotoxic effects of chronic LDR radiation have been performed. Selenium (Se) is involved in oxidative stress defence, protecting DNA and other biomolecules from reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is hypothesised that Se deficiency, as it occurs in several parts of the world, may aggravate harmful effects of ROS-inducing stressors such as ionising radiation. The authors performed a study in the newly established LDR-facility Figaro on the combined effects of Se deprivation and LDR ? exposure in DNA repair knockout mice (Ogg1(-/-)) and control animals (Ogg1(+/-)). Genotoxic effects were seen after continuous radiation (1.4?mGy/h) for 45?days. Chromosomal damage (micronucleus), phenotypic mutations (Pig-a gene mutation of RBC(CD24-)) and DNA lesions (single strand breaks/alkali labile sites) were significantly increased in blood cells of irradiated animals, covering three types of genotoxic activity. This study demonstrates that chronic LDR ? radiation is genotoxic in an exposure scenario realistic for humans, supporting the hypothesis that even LDR ? radiation may induce cancer.

Authors: Graupner A, Eide DM, Instanes C, Andersen JM, Brede DA, Dertinger SD, Lind OC, Brandt-Kjelsen A, Bjerke H, Salbu B, Oughton D, Brunborg G, Olsen AK. ;Full Source: Science Reports. 2016 Sep 6; 6:32977. doi: 10.1038/srep32977. ;