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Radiation-Induced Genomic Instability in the Offspring of Irradiated Parents

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Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series book series (NAPSC)

So far, mutation induction in the germline of directly exposed parents has been regarded as the main component of the genetic risk of ionising radiation. However, recent data on the delayed effects of exposure to ionising radiation challenge for the existing paradigm. The results of some publications imply that exposure to ionising radiation results in elevated mutation rates detectable not only in the directly irradiated cells, but also in their non-irradiated progeny. Here I review the data on transgenerational instability showing that radiation-induced instability in the germline of irradiated parents manifests in their offspring, affecting their mutation rates and some other characteristics. This paper summarises the data on increased cancer incidence and elevated mutation rates in the germline and somatic tissues of the offspring of irradiated parents. The possible mechanisms of transgenerational instability are discussed.

Keywords

Mutation Rate Somatic Tissue Transgenerational Effect Fission Neutron Paternal Exposure 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of LeicesterUK

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