ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line), ISSN 1214-021X (printed)
J Appl Biomed
Volume 9 (2011), No 4, p 209-218
DOI 10.2478/v10136-011-0007-2

Phosphorylation of histone H2AX in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after thoracic irradiation of rats

Radim Havelek, Martina Rezacova, Zuzana Sinkorova, Lenka Zarybnicka, Jaroslav Pejchal, Jirina Vavrova

Address: Radim Havelek, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove, Simkova 870, 500 38 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Received 23rd February 2011.
Revised 28th April 2011.
Published online 30th June 2011.

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Lymphocytes are among the most radiosensitive cells. After exposure of the organism to ionizing radiation, they promptly die by apoptosis at a rate proportional to the dose received. Because of this, they are frequently used in biodosimetry. We demonstrated that one hour after whole-body irradiation of rats, histone H2AX in the lymphocyte nuclei was quickly phosphorylated on serine 139, the phosphorylation process being directly dependent on the gamma radiation dose. In the work presented here, we studied the kinetics of lymphocyte depletion in the peripheral blood and phosphorylation of histone H2AX in the peripheral blood lymphocytes after local (thoracic) irradiation of rats. Twenty-four hours after whole-body irradiation of the rats at a dose of 5 Gy, the lymphocyte count declined to almost zero values, whereas after local irradiation of the thorax area, the counts of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood remained unaltered.
The authors employed two methods (flow-cytometric and microscopic) for the gammaH2AX determination in the peripheral blood lymphocytes, 1 h after thoracic irradiation of rats. Flow cytometry revealed a dose dependence on the increase in gammaH2AX in a dose range of 10-30 Gy. The microscopic method was more sensitive in the case of lower radiation doses, the dependence on the dose being obvious from a dose as low as 5 Gy. The methods are able, in the dose range 5-30 Gy, to differentiate between the type of irradiation, i.e. the whole-body or local.

gammaH2AX; biodosimetry; ionizing radiation; thoracic; lymphocytes

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