Chromosome aberrations are regarded as the most sensitive indicator of radiation-induced genetic alterations. In particular the frequency of aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) is used to estimate the dose to which an individual has been exposed. Moreover, aberrations in PBLs are considered as a promosing tool in predictive assay research aiming to develop a test for individual normal tissue tolerance. According to the standard protocol cytogenetic damage is analysed in first generation metaphases collected at one sampling interval. In the case of PBLs, metaphases are routinely harvested 48h after initiation of the culture. Yet, there is increasing evidence that radiation-induced cell cycle delays affect the aberration yield. In particular after high LET exposure a drastic increase in chromosomal damage with sampling time has been observed, i.e. heavily damaged cell
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