Synergism and Adaptive Response in the Interaction of Low Dose Irradiation with Subsequent Mutagenic Treatment in G2 Phase Human Lymphocytes

  • G. Olivieri
  • A. Bosi
  • R. Grillo
  • B. Salone


Radiobiological dose effects at higher dose and dose-rate levels are satisfactorily elucidated; the radiobiological effects at very low radiation doses and dose rates, however, still remain ambiguous (Pohl-Rüling 1990; Sagan 1987). The study of interaction of low dose irradiation with subsequent mutagenic treatment could be a way of evaluating the effects of low doses of irradiation. This type of research has linked to a general biological phenomenon in which the cells actually sense environmental adversity mostly through the exposure to low doses and then respond to the various types of stress by means of a change in gene expression (Demple 1991; Lindquist 1986; Scandalios 1990; Shevell et al. 1990). On this respect there is now a considerable body of evidence showing that exposure of cells to very low doses of ionizing radiation can “adapt” them such that they show a reduced response to a subsequent higher dose. The initial dose may protect by inducing or priming a repair mechanism. This so called “adaptive response” has been demonstrated by numerous authors using different materials and different end points (for reviews, see Kelsey et al. 1991; Liu et al. 1992; Luckey 1991; Oftedal 1991; Olivieri and Bosi 1990; Rieger et al. 1992; Shadley and Dai 1992 a, b; Wolff et al. 1990). Nevertheless many results remain equivocal (for reviews, see Hain et al. 1992; Müller et al. 1992; Wojcik et al. 1992). Moreover using human lymphocytes has been reported that low doses of ionizing radiation, which usually lead to a decrease in the damage caused by subsequent exposure may also interact synergistically with mutagenic treatment.


Adaptive Response Human Lymphocyte Challenging Dose Mutagenic Treatment Synergistic Response 
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. Bosi A, Olivieri G (1989) Variability of the adaptive response to ionizing radiations in humans. Mutation Res 221: 13–17Google Scholar
  2. Bosi A, Michell A, Pietrosanti S, Olivieri G, (1991) Effect of pH shifts on radiosensitivity of human lymphocytes irradiates in the G2 stage. Mutation Res 250: 325–329PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Demple B (1991) Regulation of Bacterial Oxidative Stress Genes. Annu Rev Genet 23: 315–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hain J, Jaussi R, Burkart W, (1992) Lack of adaptive response to low doses of ionizing radiation in human lymphocytes from five different donors. Mutation Res 283: 137–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kelsey KT, Memisoglu A, Frenkel D, Liber HL (1991) Human lymphocytes exposed to low doses of X-rays are less susceptible to radiation-induced mutagenesis. Mutaion. Res 263: 197–201Google Scholar
  6. Lindquist S (1986) The heat shock response, Annu Rev Biochem 55: 1151–1191PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Liu SZ, Cai L, Sun SQ (1992) Induction of a cytogenetic adaptive response byGoogle Scholar
  8. exposure of rabbits to very low dose-rate y-radiation. Int J Radiat Biol 62:187–190.Google Scholar
  9. Luckey TD (1991) Radiation hormesis. CCR Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  10. Müller WU, Streffer C, Niedereichholz F (1992) Adaptive response in mouse embryos? Int J Radiat Biol 62: 169–175PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Obe G, Beek B (1984) Human peripheral lymphocytes in mutation research. In: Obe G (ed) Mutation in man. Springer. Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp. 177–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Oftedal P (1991) Biological low-dose radiation effects. Mutation Res 258: 191–205PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Olivieri G, Bosi A (1990) Possible causes of variability of the adaptive response in human lymphocytes. In: Chromosomal Aberrations: Basic and Applied Aspects. Edited by Olivieri G, Bosi A, pp. 130–139 ( Springer-Verlag Berlin )Google Scholar
  14. Olivieri G, Bosi A, Grillo R, Salone B (1992) Interaction of low dose irradiation with subsequent mutagenic treatment. Studies with human lymphocytes, In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Low Dose Radiation and Biological Defense Mechanisms, Elseviez Scl Publ 279–282Google Scholar
  15. Pohl-Rüling J (1990) Chromosome Aberrations of Blood Lymphocytes Induced by Low-Level Doses of Ionizing Radiation. In: Obe G., ed. Advances in Mutagenesis Research 2. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: 155–190Google Scholar
  16. Rieger R, Michaelis A, Takehisa S (1992) Low temperature between conditioning and challenge treatment prevents the “adaptive response” of Vicia faba root tip meristem cells. Mutation Res 282: 69–72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sagan LA (1987) What is hormesis and why haven’t we heard about it before. Health Phys 52: 521–525PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Scandalios JG (Ed). (1990) Genomic Responses to Environmental Stress. Advances in Genetics vol., 28. Academic Press IncGoogle Scholar
  19. Shadley JD, Dai G (1992a) Cytogenetic and survival adaptive responses in G1 phase human lymphocytes. Mutation Res 265: 273–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shadley JD, Dai G (1992b) Low dose X-ray-induced cytogenetic adaptive response in human lymphocytes. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Low DoseRadiation and Biological Defense Mechanisms, Else Vier Sci PublGoogle Scholar
  21. Shevell DE, Friedman BM, Walker GC, (1990) Resistance to alkylation damage in Escherichia coli: Role of the Ada protein to induction of the adaptive response. Mutation Res 233: 53–72Google Scholar
  22. Wojcik A, Bonk K, Müller WU, Streffer C, Weissenborn U, Obe G, (1992) Absense of adaptive response to low doses of X-rays in preimplantation embryos and spleen lymphocytes of an inbred mouse strain as compared to human lymphocytes: a cytogenetic study. Int J Radiat Biol 62: 177–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wolff S, Olivieri G, Afzal V (1990) Adaptation of human lymphocytes to radiation or chemical mutagens: differences in cytogenetic repair. In: Chromosomal Aberrations: Basic and Applied Aspects. Edited by G. Obe and A.T. Natarajan, pp. 140–150 ( Springer-Verlag, Berlin )Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Olivieri
    • 1
  • A. Bosi
    • 1
  • R. Grillo
    • 1
  • B. Salone
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of GeneticsMolecular Biology Università “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations