, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 197-203

The effect of electron and gamma irradiation on the induction of micronuclei in cytokinesis-blocked human blood lymphocytes

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Abstract

The effect of electrons and gamma irradiation on the induction of micronuclei in cytokinesis-blocked human peripheral blood lymphocytes was investigated to understand the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of electrons compared with gamma rays. Blood samples were irradiated with an 8 MeV pulsed electron beam, at a mean instantaneous dose rate of 2.6 × 105 Gy s−1. Gamma irradiation was carried out at a dose rate of 1.98 Gy min−1 using 60Co gamma source. A dose-dependent increase in micronuclei yield was observed. The dose–response relationships for induction of micronuclei fitted well to a linear–quadratic relationship and the coefficients α and β of the dose–response curve were estimated by fitting the data using error-weighted minimum χ 2 method. The RBE of 8 MeV electrons were found to be near unity as compared with gamma rays.