Murine embryonic C3H/10T½ fibroblasts were exposed to X-rays at doses of 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 or 5Gy. To follow the development of radiation-induced genomic instability (RIGI), the frequency of micronuclei was measured with flow cytometry at 2 days after exposure and in the progeny of the irradiated cells at 8 and 15 days after exposure. Gene expression was measured at the same points in time by PCR arrays profiling the expression of 84 cancer-relevant genes. The micronucleus results showed a gradual decrease in the slope of the dose-response curve between days 2 and 15. The data were consistent with a model assuming two components in RIGI. The first component is characterized by dose-dependent increase in micronuclei. It may persist more than ten cell generations depending on dose, but eventually disappears. The second component is more persistent and independent of dose above a threshold higher than 0.2Gy. Gene expression analysis 2 days after irradiation at 5Gy showed consistent changes in genes that typically respond to DNA damage. However, the consistency of changes decreased with time, suggesting that non-specificity and increased heterogeneity of gene expression are characteristic to the second, more persistent component of RIGI.
There is limited understanding of how radiation or chemicals induce genomic instability, and how the instability is epigenetically transmitted to the progeny of exposed cells or organisms. Here, we measured the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) in murine embryonal fibroblasts exposed to ionizing radiation or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which were previously shown to induce genomic instability in this cell line. Cadmium was used as a reference agent that does not induce genomic instability in our experimental model. Measurements at 8 and 15?days after exposure did not identify any such persistent changes that could be considered as signals transmitting genomic instability to the progeny of exposed cells. However, measurements at 2?days after exposure revealed findings that may reflect initial stages of genomic instability. Changes that were common to TCDD and two doses of radiation (but not to cadmium) included five candidate signature miRNAs and general up-regulation of miRNA expression. Expression of DNMT3a, DNMT3b, and DNMT2 was suppressed by cadmium but not by TCDD or radiation, consistently with the hypothesis that sufficient expression of DNMTs is necessary in the initial phase of induced genomic instability.
Epidemiological studies have suggested that exposure to 50Hz magnetic fields (MF) increases the risk of childhood leukemia, but there is no mechanistic explanation for carcinogenic effects. In two previous studies we have observed that a 24-h pre-exposure to MF alters cellular responses to menadione-induced DNA damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the cellular changes that must occur already during the first 24h of exposure to MF, and to explore whether the MF-induced changes in DNA damage response can lead to genomic instability in the progeny of the exposed cells. In order to answer these questions, human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were exposed to a 50-Hz, 100-?T MF for 24h, followed by 3-h exposure to menadione. The main finding was that MF exposure was associated with increased level of micronuclei, used as an indicator of induced genomic instability, at 8 and 15 days after the exposures. Other delayed effects in MF-exposed cells included increased mitochondrial activity at 8 days, and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lipid peroxidation at 15 days after the exposures. Oxidative processes (ROS production, reduced glutathione level, and mitochondrial superoxide level) were affected by MF immediately after the exposure. In conclusion, the present results suggest that MF exposure disturbs oxidative balance immediately after the exposure, which might explain our previous findings on MF altered cellular responses to menadione-induced DNA damage. Persistently elevated levels of micronuclei were found in the progeny of MF-exposed cells, indicating induction of genomic instability.
Extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) are generated by power lines and various electric appliances. They have been classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, but a mechanistic explanation for carcinogenic effects is lacking. A previous study in our laboratory showed that pre-exposure to ELF MF altered cancer-relevant cellular responses (cell cycle arrest, apoptosis) to menadione-induced DNA damage, but it did not include endpoints measuring actual genetic damage. In the present study, we examined whether pre-exposure to ELF MF affects chemically induced DNA damage level, DNA repair rate, or micronucleus frequency in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
The biological effects of modulated radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields have been a subject of debate since early publications more than 30 years ago, suggesting that relatively weak amplitude-modulated RF electromagnetic fields have specific biological effects different from the well-known thermal effects of RF energy. This discussion has been recently activated by the increasing human exposure to RF fields from wireless communication systems. Modulation is used in all wireless communication systems to enable the signal to carry information. A previous review in 1998 indicated that experimental evidence for modulation-specific effects of RF energy is weak. This article reviews recent studies (published after 1998) on the biological effects of modulated RF fields. The focus is on studies that have compared the effects of modulated and unmodulated (continuous wave) RF fields, or compared the effects of different kinds of modulations; studies that used only one type of signal are not included. While the majority of recent studies have reported no modulation-specific effects, there are a few interesting exceptions indicating that there may be specific effects from amplitude-modulated RF fields on the human central nervous system. These findings warrant follow-up studies.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the "radical pair mechanism" (magnetic field effect on recombination rate of radical pairs) explains our previous findings indicating that 50 Hz magnetic fields (MF) of about 100 µT modify biological responses to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the present study, the effects of 50 Hz MF on cellular oxidative processes induced by UV radiation were investigated. Murine L929 fibroblast cells were exposed to 50 Hz MF of 100 or 300 µT during a 1-h UV exposure or for 24 h before it. The decay kinetics of oxidative reactions were analysed by measuring ultraweak chemiluminescence (photon emissions) of the exposed cells by scintillation counter in the out-of-coincidence mode. No significant MF effects were found. The results do not support the hypothesis that 100-300 µT MF modify biological responses to UV radiation by causing an overall change in oxidative reactions at cellular level.
The aim of the present study was to investigate possible cooperative effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation and ferrous chloride (FeCl(2)) on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and DNA damage. In order to test intracellular ROS production as a possible underlying mechanism of DNA damage, we applied the fluorescent probe DCFH-DA. Integrity of DNA was quantified by alkaline comet assay. The exposures to 872 MHz RF radiation were conducted at a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 5 W/kg using continuous waves (CW) or a modulated signal similar to that used in Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) phones. Four groups were included: (1) Sham exposure (control), (2) RF radiation, (3) Chemical treatment, (4) Chemical treatment, and RF radiation. In the ROS production experiments, human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells were exposed to RF radiation and 10 microg/ml FeCl(2) for 1 h. In the comet assay experiments, the exposure time was 3 h and an additional chemical (0.015% diethyl maleate) was used to make DNA damage level observable. The chemical treatments resulted in statistically significant responses, but no effects from either CW or modulated RF radiation were observed on ROS production, DNA damage or cell viability.
The objective of the study was to investigate effects of 872 MHz radiofrequency (RF) radiation on intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and DNA damage at a relatively high SAR value (5 W/kg). The experiments also involved combined exposure to RF radiation and menadione, a chemical inducing intracellular ROS production and DNA damage. The production of ROS was measured using the fluorescent probe dichlorofluorescein and DNA damage was evaluated by the Comet assay. Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were exposed to RF radiation for 1 h with or without menadione. Control cultures were sham exposed. Both continuous waves (CW) and a pulsed signal similar to that used in global system for mobile communications (GSM) mobile phones were used. Exposure to the CW RF radiation increased DNA breakage (p<0.01) in comparison to the cells exposed only to menadione. Comparison of the same groups also showed that ROS level was higher in cells exposed to CW RF radiation at 30 and 60 min after the end of exposure (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). No effects of the GSM signal were seen on either ROS production or DNA damage. The results of the present study suggest that 872 MHz CW RF radiation at 5 W/kg might enhance chemically induced ROS production and thus cause secondary DNA damage. However, there is no known mechanism that would explain such effects from CW RF radiation but not from GSM modulated RF radiation at identical SAR.
Radiation-induced genomic instability has been well documented, particularly in vitro. However, the understanding of its mechanisms and their consequences in vivo is still limited. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans; strain CB665) nematodes were exposed to X-rays at doses of 0.1, 1, 3 or 10Gy. The endpoints were measured several generations after exposure and included mutations in the movement-related gene unc-58, alterations in gene expression analysed with oligoarrays containing the entire C. elegans genome, and micro-satellite mutations measured by capillary electrophoresis. The progeny of the irradiated nematodes showed an increased mutation frequency in the unc-58 gene, with a maximum response observed at 1Gy. Significant differences were also found in gene expression between the irradiated (1Gy) and non-irradiated nematode lines. Differences in gene expression did not show clear clustering into certain gene categories, suggesting that the instability might be a chaotic process rather than a result of changes in the function of few specific genes such as, e.g., those responsible for DNA repair. Increased heterogeneity in gene expression, which has previously been described in irradiated cultured human lymphocytes, was also observed in the present study in C. elegans, the coefficient of variation of gene expression being higher in the progeny of irradiated nematodes than in control nematodes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first publication reporting radiation-induced genomic instability in C. elegans.
Ionizing radiation and certain other exposures have been shown to induce genomic instability (GI), i.e., delayed genetic damage observed many cell generations later in the progeny of the exposed cells. The aim of this study was to investigate induction of GI by a nongenotoxic carcinogen, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (C3H10T1/2) were exposed to 1, 10 or 100 nM TCDD for 2 days. Micronuclei (MN) and expression of selected cancer-related genes were assayed both immediately and at a delayed point in time (8 days). For comparison, similar experiments were done with cadmium, a known genotoxic agent. TCDD treatment induced an elevated frequency of MN at 8 days, but not directly after the exposure. TCDD-induced alterations in gene expression were also mostly delayed, with more changes observed at 8 days than at 2 days. Exposure to cadmium produced an opposite pattern of responses, with pronounced effects immediately after exposure but no increase in MN and few gene expression changes at 8 days. Although all responses to TCDD alone were delayed, menadione-induced DNA damage (measured by the Comet assay), was found to be increased directly after a 2-day TCDD exposure, indicating that the stability of the genome was compromised already at this time point. The results suggested a flat dose-response relationship consistent with dose-response data reported for radiation-induced GI. These findings indicate that TCDD, although not directly genotoxic, induces GI, which is associated with impaired DNA damage response.
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