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Br J Radiol. 2010 Aug;83(992):694-701. doi: 10.1259/bjr/49886569.

A new biodosimetric method: branched DNA-based quantitative detection of B1 DNA in mouse plasma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


A simple and accurate method for measuring the biological effects of radiation is of increasing importance, especially in mass casualty scenarios. We have therefore developed a new biodosimetric technique targeting circulating B1 DNA in mouse plasma by branched DNA signal amplification for rapid quantification of plasma DNA. This technology targets repetitive elements of the B1 retrotransposon in the mouse genome, followed by signal amplification using Panomics Quantigene 2.0 reagents. Evaluation was conducted concerning precision, accuracy and linearity. Plasma samples were collected from mice 0-24 h after 0-10 Gy total body irradiation (TBI). The average inter- and intra-assay coefficients of variance were 8.7% and 12.3%, respectively. The average recovery rate of spiked DNA into plasma was 89.5%. This assay revealed that when BALB/c and NIH Swiss mice were exposed to 6 Gy TBI, plasma B1 DNA levels increased significantly at 3 h post-TBI, peaked at 9 h and gradually returned toward baseline levels in 24 h. A dose-dependent change in plasma DNA was observed at 9 h post-TBI; the dose-response relation was monotonic, exhibiting linearity for BALB/c mice from 3 to 6 Gy (r = 0.993) and NIH Swiss mice from 3 to 7 Gy (r = 0.98). This branched DNA-based assay is reliable, accurate and sensitive in detecting plasma B1 DNA quantitatively. A radiation dose-correlated increase in plasma B1 DNA was demonstrated in BALB/c and NIH Swiss mice in the dose range from 3 to 6 Gy, suggesting that plasma B1 DNA has potential as a biomarker for radiation biological effect.

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