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Mutat Res. 2009 Nov-Dec;680(1-2):49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Sep 26.

Gamma-radiation induces micronucleated reticulocytes in 3D bone marrow bioreactors in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, United States.


Radiation injury to the bone marrow is potentially lethal due to the potent DNA-damaging effects on cells of the hematopoietic system, including bone marrow stem cell, progenitor, and the precursor cell populations. Investigation of radiation genotoxic effects on bone marrow progenitor/precursor cells has been challenged by the lack of optimal in vitro surrogate organ culture systems, and the overall difficulty to sustain lineage-specific proliferation and differentiation of hematopoiesis in vitro. We report the investigation of radiation genotoxic effects in bone marrow cultures of C57Bl/6 mice established in 3D bioreactors, which sustain long-term bone marrow cultures. For these studies, genotoxicity is measured by the induction of micronucleated reticulocytes (MN-RETs). The kinetics and dose-response relationship of MN-RET induction in response to gamma-radiation of bioreactor-maintained bone marrow cultures are presented. Our data showed that 3D long-term bone marrow cultures had sustained erythropoiesis capable of generating reticulocytes up to 8 weeks. The peak time-interval of viable cell output and percentage of reticulocytes increased steadily and reached the initial peak between the 14th and 21st days after inoculations. This was followed by a rebound or staying relatively constant until week 8. The percentage of MN-RET reached the maximum between 24 h and 32 h post 1 Gy gamma-ray. There was a near linear MN-RET induction by gamma-radiation from 0 Gy to 1.0 Gy, followed by an attenuated increase to 1.5-2.0 Gy. The MN-RET response showed a downtrend beyond 2 Gy. Our data suggest that bone marrow culture in the 3D bioreactor may be a useful organ culture system for the investigation of radiation genotoxic effect in vitro.

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