Pignalosa, D., Bertucci, A., Gialanella, G., Grossi, G., Manti, L., Pugliese, M., Scampoli, P. and Durante, M. Chromosome Inter- and Intrachanges Detected by Arm-Specific DNA Probes in the Progeny of Human Lymphocytes Exposed to Energetic Heavy Ions. Radiat. Res. 170, 458–466 (2008).
We measured residual cytogenetic damage in the progeny of human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to 1 GeV/ nucleon iron ions or γ rays. Arm-specific DNA probes for chromosome 1 were used to detect aberrations as a function of dose in cells harvested 144 h after exposure. In addition, arm-specific mFISH was applied to samples exposed to a single dose of 2 Gy. These methods allowed the detection of interarm intrachanges (pericentric inversions) in addition to interchanges. The ratio of these types of aberrations (F ratio) has been proposed as a fingerprint of exposure to densely ionizing radiation. The fractions of aberrant cells in the progeny of cells exposed to iron ions were similar to those in the population exposed to γ rays, possibly because many rearrangements induced by heavy ions ultimately lead to cell death. Simple inter- and intrachanges were also similar, but more complex rearrangements were found in cells that survived after exposure to iron ions. We did not find a significant difference in the ratio of simple interchanges to simple intrachanges for the two radiation types. However, iron ions induced a much higher frequency of events involving both inter- and intrachanges. We conclude that these complex rearrangements represent a hallmark of exposure to heavy ions and may be responsible of the decrease of the F ratio with increasing LET reported in the literature in some in vitro and in vivo experiments.