Title: Chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to a mixed beam of low energy neutrons and gamma radiation
Citation: JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION vol. 32 no. 3 p. 261-274
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC71645
ISSN: 0952-4746
URI: http://iopscience.iop.org/0952-4746/32/3/261/
DOI: 10.1088/0952-4746/32/3/261
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Cells exposed to thermal neutrons are simultaneously damaged by radiations with high and low linear energy transfer (LET). A question relevant for the assessment of risk of exposure to a mixed beam is whether the biological effect of both radiation types is additive or synergistic. The aim of the present investigation was to calculate if the high and low LET components of a thermal neutron field interact when damaging cells. Human peripheral blood lymphocytes were exposed to neutrons from the HB11 beam at the Institute for Energy and Transport, Petten, Netherlands, in a 37°C water phantom at varying depths, where the mix of high and low LET beam components differs. Chromosomal aberrations were analysed and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) values as well as the expected contribution of neutrons and photons to the aberration yield were calculated based on a dose response of aberrations in lymphocytes exposed to 60Co gamma radiation. The RBE for 10 dicentrics per 100 cells was 3 for mixed beam and 7.2 for protons. For 20 dicentrics per 100 cells the respective values were 2.4 and 5.8. The results indicate that for this endpoint there is no synergism between the high and low LET radiation.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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