To study early (deterministic) and long-term effects of radiation exposure, the "Clinic" medical-dosimetric database for the Mayak Production Association worker cohort has been established at the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI). This paper describes the principles of organization, structure and prospects of future utilization of this database.
Long-lived, sensitive, and specific biomarkers of particular mutagenic agents are much sought after and potentially have broad applications in the fields of cancer biology, epidemiology, and prevention. Many clastogens induce a spectrum of chromosome aberrations, and some of them can be exploited as biomarkers of exposure. Densely ionizing radiation, for example, alpha particle radiation (from radon or plutonium) and neutron radiation, preferentially induces complex chromosome aberrations, which can be detected by the 24-color multifluor fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) technique. We report the detection and quantification of stable complex chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes of healthy former nuclear-weapons workers, who were exposed many years ago to plutonium, gamma rays, or both, at the Mayak weapons complex in Russia. We analyzed peripheral-blood lymphocytes from these individuals for the presence of persistent complex chromosome aberrations. A significantly elevated frequency of complex chromosome translocations was detected in the highly exposed plutonium workers but not in the group exposed only to high doses of gamma radiation. No such differences were found for simple chromosomal aberrations. The results suggest that stable complex chromosomal translocations represent a long-lived, quantitative, low-background biomarker of densely ionizing radiation for human populations exposed many years ago.
The paper considers the radiation doses of the thyroid gland in the inhabitants from the Ukrainian SSR areas (Kiev, Zhitomir, Chernigov, and Vinnitsa Regions), which have been obtained by instrumental studies of thyroidal radioactivity in May-June, 1986, and calculated by the most conservative single-dose administration model. A hygienic evaluation has been made of the findings, taking into account the age and residence. The cumulative irradiation doses of the thyroid have been estimated for children and adults. Possible late sequelae for the areas in question may account for 1060 and 300 thyroid carcinoma cases during the whole life for children and adults, respectively.
We performed a study on the presence of chromosome aberrations in a cohort of plutonium workers of the Mayak production association (PA) with a mean age of 73.3 ± 7.2 years to see whether by multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) translocation analysis can discriminate individuals who underwent occupational exposure with internal and/or external exposure to ionizing radiation 40 years ago. All Mayak PA workers were occupationally exposed to chronic internal alpha-radiation due to incorporated plutonium-239 and/or to external gamma-rays. First, we obtained the translocation yield in control individuals by mFISH to chromosome spreads of age-matched individuals and obtained background values that are similar to previously published values of an international study (Sigurdson et al. in Mutat Res 652:112-121, 2008). Workers who had absorbed a total dose of >0.5 Gy external gamma-rays to the red bone marrow (RBM) displayed a significantly higher frequency of stable chromosome aberrations relative to a group of workers exposed to 1.48 kBq, mFISH revealed a considerable number of cells with complex chromosomal rearrangements. Linear associations were observed for translocation yield with the absorbed RBM dose from external gamma-rays as well as for complex chromosomal rearrangements with the plutonium-239 body burden.
Speculation has long surrounded the question of whether past exposure to ionizing radiation leaves a unique permanent signature in the genome. Intrachromosomal rearrangements or deletions are produced much more efficiently by densely ionizing radiation than by chemical mutagens, x-rays, or endogenous aging processes. Until recently, such stable intrachromosomal aberrations have been very hard to detect, but a new chromosome band painting technique has made their detection practical. We report the detection and quantification of stable intrachromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes of healthy former nuclear-weapons workers who were exposed to plutonium many years ago. Even many years after occupational exposure, more than half the blood cells of the healthy plutonium workers contain large (>6 Mb) intrachromosomal rearrangements. The yield of these aberrations was highly correlated with plutonium dose to the bone marrow. The control groups contained very few such intrachromosomal aberrations. Quantification of this large-scale chromosomal damage in human populations exposed many years earlier will lead to new insights into the mechanisms and risks of cytogenetic damage.
The data on the assessment of the radiobiological situation and the results of clinical and epidemiological studies into the population health status, exposed to radiation because of the Chernobyl NPP accident are summarized. Appropriate regularities in soil contamination with 137Cs are ascertained. It has been shown that the disease incidence among the children's and adult population of the controlled areas is associated not only with improvement of the disease revealing but with the influence of the accident consequences.
This study is the first to report cataract type specific risks in a cohort of Russian Mayak Production Association workers following chronic occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. In this retrospective cohort study, 22,377 workers (females 25.4%) first employed in 1948-1982 were followed up till the end of 2008. All cataract subtypes were significantly dependent on sex, attained age, diabetes mellitus, myopia and glaucoma. For each of posterior subcapsular (PSC), cortical and nuclear cataracts, the risk of cataract incidence significantly linearly increased with increasing radiation dose. Excess relative risk per unit effective dose (ERR/Sv) from external ?-rays based on the linear model was 0.91 [95% confidence intervals (CIs) 0.67, 1.20] for PSC, 0.63 (95% CIs 0.49, 0.76) for cortical, and 0.47 (95% CIs 0.35, 0.60) for nuclear cataracts. For all three types of cataracts, exclusion of an adjustment for neutron dose as well as inclusion of additional adjustments for body mass index and smoking index decreased ERR/Sv of external ?-rays. Inclusion of an additional adjustment for glaucoma, however, modestly increased incidence risks for cortical and nuclear cataracts, but not PSC cataracts. Inclusion of an adjustment for diabetes mellitus decreased ERR/Sv of external ?-rays only for PSC incidence. Both males and females had increased risks for all three types of cataracts, but ERR/Sv was significantly higher in females than in males (p?
A multicolor banding (mBAND) fluorescence in situ hybridization technique was used to investigate the presence inhuman populations of a stable biomarker-intrachromosomal chromosome aberrations-of past exposure to high-LET radiation. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were taken from healthy Russian nuclear workers occupationally exposed from 1949 onward to either plutonium, gamma rays or both. Metaphase spreads were produced and chromosomes 1 and 2 were hybridized with mBAND FISH probes and scored for intra-chromosomal aberrations. A large yield of intrachromosomal aberrations was observed in both chromosomes of the individuals exposed to high doses of plutonium, whereas there was no significant increase over the (low) background control rate in the population who were exposed to high doses of gamma rays. Interchromosome aberration yields were similar in both the high plutonium and the high gamma-ray groups. These results for chromosome 1 and 2 confirm and extend data published previously for chromosome 5. Intrachromosomal aberrations thus represent a potential biomarker for past exposure to high-LET radiations such as alpha particles and neutrons and could possibly be used as a biodosimeter to estimate both the dose and type of radiation exposure in previously exposed populations.