Peripheral blood lymphocyte decrease and micronucleus yields during radiotherapy

C. Catena, P. Parasacchi, D. Conti, A. Sgura, G. Trenta, E. Righi, M.M. Trinci, M. Trinci

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Purpose: To investigate the relationship between lymphocyte decrease and cytogenetic response in individual patients undergoing radiotherapy. Materials and methods: Peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from 35 patients with pelvic and from 14 with head and neck turnouts before and during radiotherapy were PHA-stimulated in vitro and the cultures prepared for the cytokinesis-block micronucleus test. For some patients only, the micronucleus test was carried out after 2 Gy in vitro X-irradiation, and 3-aminobenzamide (2 mM) was used to calculate the 3AB-index. Results: The initially observed individual variation in the decrease of lymphocytes disappeared with increasing number of radiation exposures, reaching a stable level at about 500/μl lymphocytes in the blood. The slope of the relationship between the reciprocal of the lymphocyte decrease ratio and equivalent dose indicates the radiosensitivity of the lymphocyte pool in individual patients. The micronucleus test performed on lymphocytes obtained from patients during radiotherapy (in vivo) provided a lower cytogenetic response than the in vitro micronucleus yield for the same dose, so it was possible to calculate the cytogenetic recovery factor k. A correlation was found between the 3AB- index calculated before radiotherapy, and the recovery factor k. Conclusions: The 3AB-index, the micronucleus frequency after 2 Gy in vitro X-irradiation, and the cytogenetic recovery factor are proposed as predictive of individual response to radiotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575 - 585
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Catena, C., Parasacchi, P., Conti, D., Sgura, A., Trenta, G., Righi, E., ... Trinci, M. (1997). Peripheral blood lymphocyte decrease and micronucleus yields during radiotherapy. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 72(5), 575 - 585.