Extension of lymphocyte viability for radiation biodosimetry: Potential implications for radiological/nuclear mass casualty incidents.

Research paper by Tammy T Smith, Maria M Escalona, Terri T Ryan, Gordon K GK Livingston, Jacob T JT Sanders, Adayabalam S AS Balajee

Indexed on: 12 Dec '18Published on: 12 Dec '18Published in: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry


Dicentric chromosome assay (DCA) is routinely used for estimating the absorbed radiation dose in exposed humans. Optimal lymphocyte viability is crucial for reliable dose estimation and most cytogenetic laboratories prefer the receipt of blood samples within 24 to 36 hours after collection. Delays in the shipment/receipt of samples can occur sometimes under certain unforeseen circumstances: (1) Adverse weather conditions, (2) distant location of blood collection sites, and (3) shipping and handling of a large number of samples after radiological/nuclear mass casualty incident(s). To circumvent some of these limitations, we evaluated the suitability of ex vivo irradiated blood samples stored in the presence of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) for 7 days at ambient temperature (22-24°C) for radiation biodosimetry. Blood samples stored in the presence of PHA for up to 7 days showed a higher mitotic index than blood samples stored without PHA. To verify the use of stored blood samples for DCA, frequencies of X-rays induced dicentric chromosomes were analyzed in the blood samples that were cultured either 24 hours after exposure or 7 days later after storage. Our results indicate that storage of ex vivo irradiated blood samples in the presence of PHA at ambient temperature was found optimal for DCA and that the radiation doses estimated by dicentric chromosome frequencies were grossly similar between the fresh and stored blood samples. Our study suggests that reliable and accurate biodosimetry results can be obtained for triage using blood samples stored for up to a week at ambient temperature in the presence of PHA. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.