Delayed lethality, apoptosis and micronucleus formation in human fibroblasts irradiated with X-rays or α-particles

Oleg V. Belyakov, K. M. Prise*, K.R. Trott, B.D. Michael

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the yields of cell lethality and micronucleus formation measured immediately after irradiation or at delayed times in primary human fibroblasts exposed to X-rays or α-particles. Materials and methods: Primary human AG01522B fibroblasts were irradiated with X-rays or α-particles and subcultured for up to 30 days post-irradiation. Clonogenic survival and the yield of micronucleated cells in newly divided daughter cells were scored at various times. Results: After the initial dose-dependent acute response for both endpoints there was conclusive evidence for the delayed production of de novo genomic instability in the surviving progeny. As well as the production of micronucleated cells, evidence was observed for the production of fibroblasts undergoing apoptosis as measured using conventional morphological scoring, 3'OH end-labelling of DNA fragmentation and externalization of phosphatidyl serine residues to the cell surface. For both radiations, the dose and time dependencies of the apoptotic response were similar to those for micronucleation and loss of clonogenicity. Conclusions: Genomic instability in the progeny of irradiated primary human fibroblasts was observed in the form of micronucleation, apoptosis and delayed reproductive death. An increased effectiveness of α-particles versus X-rays was observed for both initial and delayed responses, including apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-993
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of radiation biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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