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Radiat Res. 2001 Nov;156(5 Pt 1):476-87.

Monohydroxylated fatty acid content in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and immune status of people at long times after the Chernobyl accident.

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Research Center for Radiation Medicine of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, 53 Melnikov Street, Kyiv 04050, Ukraine.


The monohydroxylated fatty acid content of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 23 cleanup workers and 16 unexposed individuals was studied in relation to their immune status after the Chernobyl accident. Men with absorbed doses below 0.32 Gy showed higher levels of free and esterified 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) than unexposed men, whereas 15-HETE and the 17-hydroxy derivative of C22 fatty acid (17-OH 22), either free or esterified in phospholipids, were increased in a dose-dependent manner. The percentage of CD4-positive cells was also increased significantly in heavily irradiated men, whereas the percentage of CD8-positive cells tended to decrease with dose. Furthermore, the absolute count of CD4-positive cells was correlated positively with the amount of esterified 15-HETE in the phospholipid fraction of the mononuclear cells and with the total 15-HETE. These results show for the first time that the accumulation of autoxidized/lipoxygenase products of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the mononuclear cells of irradiated individuals was associated with immune imbalance. This may be the basis for certain late effects of radiation such as autoimmune disorders, somatic and neoplastic diseases, and early aging.

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