Charged-particle mutagenesis II. Mutagenic effects of high energy charged particles in normal human fibroblasts

D. J. Chen, K. Tsuboi, T. Nguyen, T. C. Yang

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16 Scopus citations


The biological effects of high LET charged particles are a subject of great concern with regard to the prediction of radiation risk in space. In this report, mutagenic effects of high LET charged particles are quantitatively measured using primary cultures of human skin fibroblasts, and the spectrum of induced mutations are analyzed. The LET of the charged particles ranged from 25 KeV/μm to 975 KeV/gmm with particle energy (on the cells) between 94 - 603 MeV/u. The X-chromosome linked hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (hprt) locus was used as the target gene. Exposure to these high LET charged particles resulted in exponential survival curves; whereas, mutation induction was fitted by a linear model. The Relative Biological Effect (RBE) for cell-killing ranged from 3.73 to 1.25, while that for mutant induction ranged from 5.74 to 0.48. Maximum RBE values were obtained at the LET of 150 keV/μm. The inactivation cross-section (αi) and the action-section for mutant induction (αm) ranged from 2.2 to 92.0 μm2 and 0.09 to 5.56 × 10-3 μm2, respectively. The maximum values were obtained by 56Fe with an LET of 200 keV/μm. The mutagenicity (αm/αi) ranged from 2.05 to 7.99 × 10-5 with the maximum value at 150 keV/μm. Furthermore, molecular analysis of mutants induced by charged particles indicates that higher LET beams are more likely to cause larger deletions in the hprt locus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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