Low Dose Radiation Effects in Human Cells

  • John B. Little


There is considerable current interest in the nature of the radiation dose response relationship at low doses and low dose rates. Most radiation survival curves are characterized by the existence of a shoulder at low doses, where radiation appears less efficient at killing cells per unit dose than at higher exposures. This phenomenon is of considerable interest to radiotherapists, as the size of the daily doses employed often fall within this shoulder region. The interest in the dose response curve for mutagenesis and carcinogenesis has been given impetus by the need to estimate the risk of low dose radiation exposure in human populations by extrapolation from effects measured in epidemiologic studies involving much higher doses.


Fast Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness Tritiated Water Neutron Exposure Hprt Locus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Corn, B.W., Liber, H.L., and Little, J.B., 1987, Differential effects of radical scavengers on x-ray-induced mutation and cytotoxicity in human cells. Radiation Res., 109: 100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Grosovsky, A.J., and Little, J.B., 1985, Evidence for a linear response for the induction of mutations in human cells by x-ray exposures below 10 rads. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 82: 2092.Google Scholar
  3. Hill, C.K., Buonaguro, F.M., Myers, C.P., Han, A., and Elkind, M.M., 1982, Fission-spectrum neutrons at reduced dose-rates enhance neoplastic transformation. Nature (London), 298: 67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Liber, H.L., Ozaki, V.H., and Little, J.B., 1985, Toxicity and mutagenicity of low dose rates of ionizing radiation from tritiated water in human lymphoblastoid cells. Mutation Res. 157: 77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Olivieri, G., Bodycote, J., and Wolff, S., 1984, Adaptive response of human lymphocytes to low concentrations of radioactive thymidine. Science, 223: 594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Shadley, J.D. and Wolff, S., 1987, Very low doses of X-rays can cause human lymphocytes to become less susceptible to ionizing radiation. Mutagenesis 2: 95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Little
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of RadiobiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations