In a previous paper we reported that a group of children exposed to ionizing radiation following the Chernobyl accident exhibited an appreciable number of chromosome breaks and rearrangements reflecting the persistence of a radiation-induced damage. The results suggested that the children were still exposed to radioactive contamination through consumer foodstuff and life styles. In the present paper, 31 exposed children have been considered together with a control group of 11 children with the aim to confirm previous results. All children underwent whole-body counter (WBC) measures and conventional cytogenetic analysis. The frequency of chromosome aberrations detected by conventional cytogenetics in the group of children chronically exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation resulted in significant differences with respect to the control group. The present work suggests that, for these groups of children, even if the frequency of aberrations is very low and the observation of statistically significant differences is consequently a problem, a persistently abnormal cytogenetic picture is still present several years after the accident.
The present study concerns the monitoring of children from the Byelorussian, Ukrainian and Russian republics exposed to the fall-out of the Chernobyl accident. Cytogenetic analyses have been performed on 41 children coming from different areas and exhibiting varying amounts of 137Cs internal contamination, as evaluated by whole-body counter (WBC) analysis. On a total of 28,670 metaphases scored, radiation-induced chromosome damage is still present, although at a very low frequency. Due to the very low fraction of dicentrics, because of the time elapsed from the accident and the relatively low doses of exposure, radiobiological dosimetry is not possible for these children. However, considering that the WBC data indicate that the children are still exposed to 137Cs contamination, the observed occurrence of stable chromosome rearrangements and breaks may represent the persisting effect of continuous low doses of radiation. The present study also indicates that the parallel use of internal contamination dosimetry and cytogenetics could be usefully employed to monitor individual exposure to radiation and to define further management measures.
Do human lymphocytes exposed to the fallout of the Chernobyl accident exhibit an adaptive response? III. Challenge with bleomycin in lymphocytes from children hit by the initial acute dose of ionizing radiation.
In the present paper, we report data on the possible adaptive response, induced in vivo by exposure to ionizing radiation to a challenge treatment with the radiomimetic glycopeptide bleomycin (BLM). Lymphocytes from children living in Pripjat at the time of the Chernobyl accident, and thus hit by the initial acute dose of ionizing radiation, were treated for the last 5 h of culture with 0.004 U/ml BLM. Significantly lower chromosome damage was found only in lymphocytes from children who, independently of the initial acute exposure to ionizing radiation, still showed a 137Cs internal contamination, due to persistent continuous exposure to low doses of radiation. The present results indicate that past exposure to acute high dose of ionizing radiation does not interfere with resistance to BLM which is related to internal contamination.