mFISH analysis of chromosomal damage in bone marrow cells collected from CBA/CaJ mice following whole body exposure to heavy ions (56Fe ions)
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To date, there is scant information on in vivo induction of chromosomal damage by heavy ions found in space (i.e. 56Fe ions). For radiation-induced response to be useful for risk assessment, it must be established in in vivo systems especially in cells that are known to be at risk for health problems associated with radiation exposure (such as hematopoietic cells, the known target tissue for radiation-induced leukemia). In this study, the whole genome multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) technique was used to examine the in vivo induction of chromosomal damage in hematopoietic tissues, i.e. bone marrow cells. These cells were collected from CBA/CaJ mice at day 7 following whole-body exposure to different doses of 1 GeV/amu 56Fe ions (0, 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 Gy) or 137Cs γ rays as the reference radiation (0, 0.5, 1.0 and 3.0 Gy, at the dose rate of 0.72 Gy/min using a GammaCell40). These radiation doses were the average total-body doses. For each radiation type, there were four mice per dose. Several types of aberrations in bone marrow cells collected from mice exposed to either type of radiation were found. These were exchanges and breaks (both chromatid- and chromosome-types). Chromosomal exchanges included translocations (Robertsonian or centric fusion, reciprocal and incomplete types), and dicentrics. No evidence of a non-random involvement of specific chromosomes in any type of aberrations observed in mice exposed to 56Fe ions or 137Cs γ rays was found. At the radiation dose range used in our in vivo study, the majority of exchanges were simple. Complex exchanges were detected in bone marrow cells collected from mice exposed to 1 Gy of 56Fe ions or 3 Gy of 137Cs γ rays only, but their frequencies were low. Overall, our in vivo data indicate that the frequency of complex chromosome exchanges was not significantly different between bone marrow cells collected from mice exposed to 56Fe ions or 137Cs γ rays. Each type of radiation induced significant dose-dependent increases (ANOVA, P < 0.01) in the frequencies of chromosomal damage, including the numbers of abnormal cells. Based upon the linear-terms of dose-response curves, 56Fe ions were 1.6 (all types of exchanges), 4.3 (abnormal cells) and 4.2 (breaks, both chromatid- and chromosome-types) times more effective than 137Cs γ rays in inducing chromosomal damage.