Concept of T-Cell Genus as a Basis for Analysis of the Results of Cytogenetic Studies after Local Bone Marrow Exposure


Evaluation of the frequency of chromosome translocations in peripheral blood T-lymphocytes is a generally accepted method of retrospective biodosimetry. Accidental contamination of the Techa River (Chelyabinsk Oblast) in 1950s with bone-seeking long-lived strontium-90 gave an opportunity to evaluate the effect of local red bone marrow (RBM) exposure on translocation formation in the peripheral T-lymphocytes of local inhabitants. The studies of the inhabitants using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that RBM doses calculated based on FISH results were lower than those estimated based on 90Sr body burden measurements. The current study presents analytical review of the published data dealing with the most important processes of the T-lymphocyte development and formation of chromosome aberrations: characteristics of the main compartments where the exposure of T-cell occurs; assessment of the time spent by T-lymphocytes and their progenitors in these compartments; analysis of the dynamics of T-cell populations (proliferation and death); age-related aspects. The paper presents a concept of T-cell Genus (TG) united all the progeny of T progenitor with inheritable specific aberrations that could have developed in bone marrow.

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Fig. 1.


  1. 1.

    Whole chromosome probes for the coloration of three chromosome pairs (that is, approximately 23% of the genome) were used.

  2. 2.

    CD molecules can act in different ways often acting as receptors or ligands (molecules that activate the receptor) important for the cell. They can initiate the signaling cascade changing the cell behavior. Some CD proteins play no role in cell signals, but have other functions, such as cell adhesion. There are about 250 different CD proteins.

  3. 3.

    The main RTE markers are the following: (1) T cell excision circle (TREC), extrachromosomal rings, the product of episomal DNA, which are obtained when rearranging the ТКР genes and which is not replicative, that is, is not transmitted to descendant cells during maternal RTE cell division [22]; (2) the CD31 marker identifies the subgroup of naive cells, in which there is a high level of TREC; (3) protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7) is expressed by a subpopulation of naive CD31+CD4+ cells with a high content of TREC; (4) Ki67 is not an RTE marker, but is a cell cycle marker, which is expressed only by proliferative cells at the stage G1. This allows us to determine what part of the cell population is currently dividing.

  4. 4.

    Ahmed [41, 57] described different models of memory T cell differentiation. The model type is not essential for the purposes of our study. We describe a linear differentiation model.


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Tolstykh, E.I., Vozilova, A.V., Degteva, M.O. et al. Concept of T-Cell Genus as a Basis for Analysis of the Results of Cytogenetic Studies after Local Bone Marrow Exposure. Biol Bull Russ Acad Sci 47, 1495–1506 (2020).

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  • biodosimetry
  • T cells
  • chromosomal aberrations
  • bone marrow
  • 90Sr
  • Techa River
  • T-cell genus