International journal of radiation biology and related studies in physics, chemistry, and medicine

Effects of low dose rate (0.003-0.025 Gy/h) chronic X-irradiation on radioresistant and radiosensitive L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells.

PMID 3876312


Cultures of radioresistant (LY-R) and radiosensitive (LY-S) strains of L5178Y mouse lymphoma cells were exposed continuously to X-rays delivered at dose rates ranging from 0.003 to 0.025 Gy/h for up to 35 days. Populations of both strains proliferated actively during the exposure, but the growth rates were reduced in a dose rate-dependent manner. The reduction of growth rate occurred for strain LY-S earlier during the exposure and at lower dose rates than for strain LY-R. The survival (as measured by colony forming ability) of strain LY-R was affected only slightly at all dose rates applied. For strain LY-S, a decrease in the surviving fraction was observed in the initial part of the exposure. This decrease was followed by a plateau and eventually by an increase, in some cases to values close to the control level. The increase in the surviving fraction indicated that the radioresistance of the exposed LY-S cells had increased. This pattern was particularly clear for dose rates greater than 0.014 Gy/h. The pre-irradiated cells exhibited radioresistance when exposed to acute X-radiation after termination of the chronic exposure. The increase in radiation resistance was stable for at least 70 days after termination of the protracted exposure. These results show that mutagenic and/or selective phenomena leading to an increase in radiation resistance of mammalian cells can be caused by protracted exposures to X-rays at dose rates permitting active proliferation.

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