To evaluate the application of the cytokinesis-block (CB) micronucleus (MN) assay as a biological dosimeter following in vivo exposure to ionising radiation we determined the micronucleus frequency in spleen and peripheral blood lymphocytes of the mouse, serially, for 14 days following acute whole-body irradiation. The baseline MN frequency of spleen lymphocytes (7.86 ± 0.68, mean ± 1SD) was significantly (p < 0.001) elevated when compared to that for peripheral blood lymphocytes (4.10 ± 0.53). Immediately after irradiation there was a substantial dose-related increase in MN, but the MN frequencies in spleen lymphocytes (120.2 ± 9.4 for 1 Gy; 409.5 ± 38.4 for 2 Gy) were significantly (p < 0.009) elevated compared to those in peripheral blood lymphocytes (78.0 ± 7.0 for 1Gy; 200.2 ± 10.9 for 2Gy). During the 14 days after irradiation, the MN frequency in spleen lymphocytes declined gradually to approximately half of the value observed immediately after irradiation. By contrast the MN frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes increased during the week after irradiation, but ultimately MN frequencies in blood and spleen became approximately the same by day 14. Study of isolated murine lymphocytes irradiated in vitro showed that the number of MN generated by a given dose of radiation was approximately 2-3 times greater than the number generated by in vivo irradiation. These results suggest that measurement of MN in vivo after irradiation can be used as an in vivo dosimeter. However, precise dosimetry is probably affected by factors such as kinetic changes in different lymphocyte populations and possibly by in vivo factors which influence sensitivity of cells to radiation.
- Cytokinesis-bloeked lymphocytes
- Whole-body irradiation