We report measurements of initial G2-chromatid breaks in normal human fibroblasts exposed to various types of high-LET particles. Exponentially growing AG 1522 cells were exposed to υ-rays or heavy ions. Chromosomes were prematurely condensed by calyculin A. Chromatid-type breaks and isochromatid-type breaks were scored separately. The dose response curves for the induction of total chromatid breaks (chromatid-type + isochromatid-type) and chromatid-type breaks were linear for each type of radiation. However, dose response curves for the induction of isochromatid-type breaks were linear for high-LET radiations and linear-quadratic for υ-rays. Relative biological effectiveness (RBE), calculated from total breaks, showed a LET dependent tendency with a peak at 55 keV/μm silicon (2.7) or 80 keV/μm carbon (2.7) and then decreased with LET (1.5 at 440 keV/μm). RBE for chromatid-type break peaked at 55 keV/μm (2.4) then decreased rapidly with LET. The RBE of 440 keV/μm iron particles was 0.7. The RBE calculated from induction of isochromatid-type breaks was much higher for high-LET radiations. It is concluded that the increased production of isochromatid-type breaks, induced by the densely ionizing track structure, is a signature of high-LET radiation exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas