Kumar, P. R. V., Mohankumar, M. N., Hamza, V. Z. and Jeevanram, R. K. Dose-Rate Effect on the Induction of HPRT Mutants in Human G0 Lymphocytes Exposed In Vitro to Gamma Radiation. Radiat. Res. 165, 43–50 (2006).
The influence of dose rate on expression time, cell survival and mutant frequency at the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) locus was evaluated in human G0 peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed in vitro to γ rays at low (0.0014 Gy/min) and high (0.85 Gy/min) dose rates. A cloning assay performed on different days of postirradiation incubation indicated an 8-day maximum expression period for the induction of HPRT mutants at both high and low dose rates. Cell survival increased markedly with decreasing dose rate, yielding D0 values of 3.04 Gy and 1.3 Gy at low and high dose rates, respectively. The D0 of 3.04 Gy obtained at low dose rate could be attributed to the repair of sublethal DNA damage taking place during prolonged exposure to low-LET radiation. Regression analysis of the mutant frequency yielded slopes of 12.35 × 10−6 and 3.66 × 10−6 mutants per gray at high and low dose rate, respectively. A dose and dose-rate effectiveness factor of 3.4 indicated a marked dose-rate effect on the induced HPRT mutant frequency. The results indicate that information obtained from in vitro measurements of dose-rate effects in human G0 lymphocytes may be a useful parameter for risk estimation in radiation protection.