Korystov, Y. N., Shaposhnikova, V. V., Korystova, A. F. and Emel'yanov, M. O. Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species Induced by Radiation in Cells Using the Dichlorofluorescein Assay. Radiat. Res. 168, 226–232 (2007).
The goal of this study was to determine the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that arises inside cells irradiated in medium containing blood serum using the 2′7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) assay. DCF fluorescence in cells and medium was recorded on an MF44 Perkin Elmer fluorimeter, and fluorescence in cells only was recorded on a Partec flow-through cytometer. Human larynx tumor HEp-2 cells and lympholeukosis P388 cells were irradiated with X rays at a dose rate of 1.12 Gy/min. The factors (temperature, pH, serum concentration) affecting the oxidation of 2′7′-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH) to DCF were studied, and errors in the dichlorofluorescein assay of ROS were minimized. The amount of ROS registered by the DCF assay in cells was found to depend on the concentration of serum in the medium during irradiation. In the presence of 10% serum, radiation had no effect on the amount of detectable ROS. The effect of radiation on the formation of intracellular ROS was almost completely abolished if the irradiated medium was removed immediately after radiation exposure. The increase in the formation of ROS in cells irradiated in medium with a low serum content is due mainly to the radiolytic products of water that arise in medium and oxidize DCFH located in cells.