, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 571-578
Date: 06 Sep 2011

Chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals living in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran

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Abstract

In order to investigate the biological effects of exposure to low-dose radiation and to assess the dose–effect relationship in residents of high background radiation areas (HBRAs) of Ramsar, cytogenetic investigation of unstable-type aberrations was performed in 15 healthy elderly women in a HBRA of Ramsar, Talesh mahalle, and in 10 elderly women living in a nearby control area with normal background radiation. In total, 77,714 cells were analyzed; 48,819 cells in HBRA residents and 28,895 cells in controls. On average, 3,108 cells per subject were analyzed (range 1,475–5,007 cells). Significant differences were found in the frequency of dicentric plus centric rings in 100 cells (0.207 ± 0.103 vs. 0.047 ± 0.027, p < 0.0005), total chromosome-type aberrations per 100 cells (0.86 ± 0.44 vs. 0.23 ± 0.17, p < 0.0005), and chromatid-type aberrations per 100 cells (3.31 ± 2.01 vs. 1.66 ± 0.63, p = 0.01) by the Mann–Whitney U test between HBRA and the control, respectively. Using chromosomal aberrations as the main endpoint to assess the dose–effect relationship in residents of HBRAs in Ramsar, no positive correlation was found between the frequency of dicentric plus centric ring aberrations and the cumulative dose of the inhabitants estimated by direct individual dosimetry; however, obvious trends of increase with age appeared in the control group. Based on these results, individuals residing in HBRAs of Ramsar have an increased frequency of detectable abnormalities in unstable aberrations.