Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Jun;6(2):73-8.

Effect of high dose natural ionizing radiation on the immune system of the exposed residents of Ramsar Town, Iran.

Author information

  • 1Sattarkhan Diagnostic Laboratory, Tehran, Iran.


Iran is one of several countries that has regions of high dose natural ionizing radiation. Two well-known villages in the suburb of Ramsar Town in the Caspian Sea strip, Taleshmahaleh and Chaparsar, have background radiation that is 13 times higher than normal. This radiation is the result of Radium 226 and Radon gas both of which are highly water soluble. While people living in these regions do not suffer from any major health problems, we decided to study the their immune responses to infection and inflammation in order to determine if their habitat affects their immune defense mechanisms as a way of compensating for their exposure to high dose environmental ionizing radiation. Our results showed that the total serum antioxidant level in the exposed people was significantly lower than the individuals not exposed to high dose natural ionizing radiation. The exposed individuals also had higher lymphocyte-induced IL-4 and IL-10 production, and lower IL-2 and IFN-gamma production. In addition, neutrophil NBT, phagocytosis, and locomotion were higher in the exposed group. In contrast, lymphocyte proliferation in response to PHA was unaffected. We conclude that the immune system of individuals exposed to high dose ionizing radiation has adapted to its environment by shifting from a Type 1 to a Type 2 response to promote anti-inflammation. This may be because inflammatory Type 1 responses generate more free radicals than Type 2 responses, in addition to the free radicals generated as a result of high environmental radiation. Thus, the serum total antioxidant level in the exposed residents was lower than the unexposed group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Tehran University of Medical Sciences, The Center for Electronic Resources Provision & Journals Development
    Loading ...
    Support Center