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Cytometry A. 2011 Dec;79(12):1016-22. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.21154. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Optimization of calyculin A-induced premature chromosome condensation assay for chromosome aberration studies.

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  • 1Scientific Research Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20889, USA.


Calyculin A-induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC) assay is a simple and useful method to assess structural and numerical chromosome aberrations in cells. Our hypothesis in this study is that suboptimum calyculin A induction of PCC resulting in fuzzy compactness and/or shortened length chromosomes would decrease the detection sensitivity of numerical and structural chromosome aberrations such as small PCC rings and small excess fragments. In this study, an optimization of calyculin A exposure on chromosome morphology and PCC induction frequency was investigated using a human peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) ex vivo irradiation ((60) Co-γ rays; ∼0.6 Gy/min; 0-30 Gy) model. Treatment with calyculin A (50 nM) for 15 and 30 min resulted in 11.3 ± 2.7 and 9.9 ± 1.6-fold increases in the frequency of G(2) /M-PCC cells with extended length chromosomes compared with the 60-min treated group over a broad dose range (0 to 20 Gy), respectively. The G(2) /M-PCC scoring index per PCC in 15- and 30-min treated groups was increased by 1.9 ± 0.2 (P = 0.001) and 1.8 ± 0.2 (P = 0.001) compared with the 60-min treated group over 0-20 Gy, respectively. The G(2) /M-PCC efficiency of 30-min treated group was highest in the three conditions (i.e., 15-, 30-, and 60-min treatment) of calyculin A exposure. Calyculin A (50 nM) treatment for 30 min before the 48-h harvest of mitogen-stimulated human PBL is optimum for the formation of suitable chromosome morphology necessary to assess structural chromosome aberrations induced by exposure to radiation using the chemical induced-PCC assay. Published 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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