Suzuki, M., Tsuruoka, C., Uchihori, Y., Ebisawa, S., Yasuda, H. and Fujitaka, K. Reduction in Life Span of Normal Human Fibroblasts Exposed to Very Low-Dose-Rate Charged Particles. Radiat. Res. 164, 505–508 (2005).
We studied the effect of chronic low-dose irradiation with heavy ions on the life span of normal human fibroblasts in vitro. Cells were cultured in a CO2 incubator that was placed in the irradiation room for biological studies of heavy ions in the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) at National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) and were exposed to scattered radiations produced by heavy-ion beams for the life span of the cell population. The absorbed dose, which was measured using a thermoluminescence dosimeter (TLD) and a silicon semiconductor detector, was 1.4 mGy per day when the HIMAC was operated for biological experiments. The total number of population doublings of the exposed cells as reduced to 79–93% of that of nonexposed control cells. However, the life span of cells exposed to low-dose 137Cs γ rays (∼1 mGy/day) in the CO2 incubator in the γ-irradiation room in NIRS was prolonged to 104–106% of that of nonexposed control cells. Thus there is evidence that exposure to chronic low-dose heavy-ion radiation reduces the life span of cells.