Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-44

Up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression in cultured human lymphocytes after exposure to low doses of gamma radiation

1 Medical Physics Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2 Immunology Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3 Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases Research Centre, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4 Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
5 Department of Radiology, Paramedical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad Taghi Bahreyni-Toossi
Medical Physics Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.152249

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Lymphocytes have demonstrated complex molecular responses to induced stress by ionizing radiation. Many of these reactions are mediated through modifications in gene expressions, including the genes involved in apoptosis. The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation on the apoptotic genes, expression levels. The secondary goal was to estimate the time-effect on the modified gene expression caused by low doses of ionizing radiation. Mononuclear cells in culture were exposed to various dose values ranged from 20 to 100 mGy by gamma rays from a Cobalt-60 source. Samples were taken for gene expression analysis at hours 4, 24, 48, 72, and 168 following to exposure. Expression level of two apoptotic genes; BAX (pro-apoptotic) and Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic) were examined by relative quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), at different time intervals . Radio-sensitivity of peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs) was measured by the Bcl-2/BAX ratio (as a predictive marker for radio-sensitivity). The non-parametric two independent samples Mann-Whitney U-test were performed to compare means of gene expression. The results of this study revealed that low doses of gamma radiation can induce early down-regulation of the BAX gene of freshly isolated human PBMCs; however, these changes were restored to near normal levels after 168 hours. In most cases, expression of the Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic gene was up-regulated. Four hours following to exposure to low doses of gamma radiation, apoptotic gene expression is modified, this is manifested as adaptive response. Modification of these gene expressions seems to be a principle pathway in the early radioresistance response. In our study, we found that these changes were temporary and faded completely within a week.

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