Chromosome aberrations induced in human lymphocytes by neutron irradiation

D. C. Lloyd*, R. J. Purrott, G. W. Dolphin, Alan Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro dose - response curves of unstable chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes have been obtained for neutron spectra of mean energies 0·7, 0·9, 7·6 and 14·7 MeV. The aberration yields have been fitted to the quadratic function Y = αD + βD2, which is consistent with the single-track and two-track model of aberration formation. However with high-LET radiation, the linear component of yield, corresponding to damage caused by single tracks, predominates, and this term becomes more dominant with increasing LET, so that for fission spectrum neutrons the relationship is linear, Y = αD. At low doses, such as those received by radiation workers, limiting r.b.e. values between 13 and 47 are obtained relative to 60Co gamma-radiation. At higher doses, as used in radiotherapy, the values are much lower; ranging from 2·7 to 8 at 200 rad of equivalent gamma-radiation. Both sets of r.b.e. values correlate well with track-averaged LET but not with dose-averaged LET. When the numbers of cells without aberrations are plotted against radiation dose, curves are obtained which are similar in shape to those for conventional cell-survival experiments with comparable neutron spectra. The D0 values obtained in the present study are close to those from other cell systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1976


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