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Mutat Res. 2004 Dec 2;568(1):21-32.

Interrelationships amongst radiation-induced genomic instability, bystander effects, and the adaptive response.

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MRC Radiation and Genome Stability Unit, Harwell, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX110RD, UK.


Over the past two decades, our understanding of radiation biology has undergone a fundamental shift in paradigms away from deterministic "hit-effect" relationships and towards complex ongoing "cellular responses". These responses include now familiar, but still poorly understood, phenomena associated with radiation exposure such as bystander effects, genomic instability, and adaptive responses. All three have been observed at very low doses, and at time points far removed from the initial radiation exposure, and are extremely relevant for linear extrapolation to low doses; the adaptive response is particularly relevant when exposure is spread over a period of time. These are precisely the circumstances that are most relevant to understanding cancer risk associated with environmental and occupational radiation exposures. This review will provide a synthesis of the known, and proposed, interrelationships amongst low-dose cellular responses to radiation. It also will examine the potential importance of non-targeted cellular responses to ionizing radiation in setting acceptable exposure limits especially to low-LET radiations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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