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Radiat Res. 2004 Oct;162(4):416-25.

Increases in oxidative stress in the progeny of X-irradiated cells.

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Department of Cancer Cell Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


A number of phenotypes persist in the progeny of irradiated cells for many generations including delayed reproductive death, cell transformation, genomic instability, and mutations. It appears likely that persistent phenotypes are inherited by an epigenetic mechanism, although very little is known about the nature of such a mechanism or how it is established. One hypothesis is that radiation causes a heritable increase in oxy-radical activity. In the present study, intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human lymphoblast clones derived from individually X-irradiated cells were monitored for about 55 generations after exposure. A number of clones derived from irradiated cells had an increase in dichlorofluorescein (DCF) fluorescence at various times. Cells with abrogated TP53 expression had a decreased oxidant response. Flow cytometry analysis of clones with increased fluorescence did not detect increases in the sub-G(1) fraction or decreased cell viability compared to nonirradiated clones, indicating that increased levels of apoptosis and cell death were not present. The oxidative stress response protein heme oxygenase 1 (HO1) was induced in some cultures derived from X-irradiated cells but not in cultures derived from unirradiated cells. The expression of the dual specificity mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphatase (MPK1/CL100), which is inducible by oxidative stress and has a role in modulating ERK signaling pathways, was also increased in the progeny of some irradiated cells. Finally, there was an increase in the phosphorylated tyrosine content of a prominent protein band of about 45 kDa. These results support the hypothesis that increased oxy-radical activity is a persistent effect in X-irradiated mammalian cells and further suggest that this may lead to changes in the expression of proteins involved in signal transduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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