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Int J Radiat Biol. 1992 Apr;61(4):465-72.

Relationships between DNA damage and the survival of radiosensitive mutant Chinese hamster cell lines exposed to gamma-radiation. Part 1: Intrinsic radiosensitivity.

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Department of Experimental Radiotherapy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


In this study we used the neutral elution technique (at pH 9.6) to compare the efficiency of DNA double-strand break (dsb) induction and cell killing in two radiosensitive Chinese hamster ovary cell lines, EM9 and NM2, and their parent cell line, AA8, after exposure to low doses (2.5-12 Gy) of 137Cs gamma-radiation. The survival curves indicated that at all radiation doses examined EM9 cells were the most radiosensitive and AA8 cells were the least radiosensitive. We found significant differences among the three cell lines in the neutral elution assay. While NM2 cells showed the same immediate postirradiation dose response for DNA damage as the parent cell line, EM9 cells showed a two-fold greater elution rate than AA8 cells per unit dose. Either the dsb induction efficiency was greater in EM9 than in AA8 cells, or the same frequency of dsb in EM9 and AA8 cells gave rise to a different DNA elution rate, perhaps because of differences in their chromatin structure. We also used a mitotic selection technique to examine the duration of the gamma-ray-induced mitotic delay in the three cell lines. Mitotic delay was less severe in NM2 cells than in AA8 cells, but was significantly longer in EM9 cells than in AA8 cells. Thus the measurements obtained using both neutral elution and mitotic selection suggest that the underlying molecular bases of the radiosensitivity of EM9 and NM2 cells are very different.

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