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Adv Space Res. 2005;35(2):280-5.

Early and delayed reproductive death in human cells exposed to high energy iron ion beams.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita degli Studi di Milano and INFN-Sezione di Milano, Milano, Italy.


The aim of this research was to determine the biological effectiveness for early and delayed effects of high energy, high linear energy transfer (LET) charged particles. Survival and delayed reproductive death were measured in AG1522 human fibroblast cells exposed to Fe-ion beams of energies between 0.2 and 1 GeV/n, 0.97 GeV/n Ti-ion and 0.49 GeV/n Si-ion beams. The cells were irradiated at the HIMAC accelerator in Chiba, Japan (0.2 and 0.5 GeV/n Fe and 0.49 GeV/n Si) and at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven, USA (1 GeV/n Fe and 0.97 GeV/n Ti ions). The dose-effect curves were measured in the dose range between 0.25 and 2 Gy. For comparison cells were exposed to 60Co gamma rays. Analysis of the dose-effect curves show that all the heavy ion beams induce inactivation and delayed reproductive death more effectively than 60Co gamma rays. The only exception is the 0.2 GeV/n Fe-ion beam at low doses. The progeny of the irradiated cells show delayed damage in the form of reproductive death with all the heavy ion beams with the 1 GeV/n Fe-ion beam being the most effective. The relative biological effectiveness at low doses of the iron beams is highest for LET values between 140 and 200 keV/micrometers with values of 1.6 and 3 for early and delayed reproductive death, respectively. Analysis of the fluence-effect curves shows that the cross-sections for early and delayed inactivation increase with increasing LET up to 442 keV/micrometers.

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