We maintain this section to inform interested users about independent scientific studies conducted on MetaSystems products. We assume no responsibility or liability regarding the accuracy or correct use of the information or statements provided by external authors. The conclusions or statements expressed in the publications listed are those of the external authors or researchers. The publications may involve user-specific adaptations of MetaSystems products. They are not intended for diagnostic use. For publications covered by the Intended Purpose of Metafer or Ikaros, please refer to the respective instructions for use (IFU).

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Mutat Res, 751(2), 258–286

Ionizing radiation biomarkers for potential use in epidemiologicalstudies.

Eileen Pernot, Janet Hall, Sarah Baatout, Mohammed Abderrafi Benotmane, Eric Blanchardon, Simon Bouffler, Houssein El Saghire, Maria Gomolka, Anne Guertler, Mats Harms-Ringdahl, Penny Jeggo, Michaela Kreuzer, Dominique Laurier, Carita Lindholm, Radhia Mkacher, Roel Quintens, Kai Rothkamm, Laure Sabatier, Soile Tapio, Florent de Vathaire, Elisabeth Cardis

Ionizing radiation is a known human carcinogen that can induce a variety of biological effects depending on the physical nature, duration, doses and dose-rates of exposure. However, the magnitude of health risks at low doses and dose-rates (below 100mSv and/or 0.1mSvmin(-1)) remains controversial due to a lack of direct human evidence. It is anticipated that significant insights will emerge from the integration of epidemiological and biological research, made possible by molecular epidemiology studies incorporating biomarkers and bioassays. A number of these have been used to investigate exposure, effects and susceptibility to ionizing radiation, albeit often at higher doses and dose rates, with each reflecting time-limited cellular or physiological alterations. This review summarises the multidisciplinary work undertaken in the framework of the European project DoReMi (Low Dose Research towards Multidisciplinary Integration) to identify the most appropriate biomarkers for use in population studies. In addition to logistical and ethical considerations for conducting large-scale epidemiological studies, we discuss the relevance of their use for assessing the effects of low dose ionizing radiation exposure at the cellular and physiological level. We also propose a temporal classification of biomarkers that may be relevant for molecular epidemiology studies which need to take into account the time elapsed since exposure. Finally, the integration of biology with epidemiology requires careful planning and enhanced discussions between the epidemiology, biology and dosimetry communities in order to determine the most important questions to be addressed in light of pragmatic considerations including the appropriate population to be investigated (occupationally, environmentally or medically exposed), and study design. The consideration of the logistics of biological sample collection, processing and storing and the choice of biomarker or bioassay, as well as awareness of potential confounding factors, are also essential.

Mutat Res, 699(1-2), 29–34
June, 2010

Frequency of chromosomal aberrations in Prague mothers and theirnewborns.

A. Rossnerova, I. Balascak, P. Rossner, R. J. Sram

The capital city of Prague is one of the most polluted areas of the Czech Republic. The impact of air pollution on the level of chromosomal aberrations was systematically studied: analyses were performed using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole-chromosome painting for chromosomes #1 and #4. In the present study, we analyzed the levels of stable (one-way and two-way translocations) and unstable (acentric fragments) chromosomal aberrations in 42 mothers living in Prague and in their newborns. The average age of the mothers was 29 years (range, 20-40 years). Blood samples were collected from October 2007 to February 2008. The average levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) in respirable particles (PM2.5), as determined by stationary monitoring, were 21.0+/-12.3ng/m(3) and 2.9+/-1.8ng/m(3), respectively. We did not observe any effect of either c-PAH or B[a]P exposure on the genomic frequency of translocations (per 100 cells, F(G)/100) in either group due to their similar exposure during the winter months. The mean values of F(G)/100 representing stable aberrations were 0.09+/-0.13 vs 0.80+/-0.79 (p

Radiation Research, 171, 541- 548

Strategy for population triage based on dicentric analysis.

A. Vaurijoux, G. Gruel, F. Pouzoulet, E. Grégoire, C. Martin, S. Roch-Lefèvre, Pa. Voisin, Ph. Voisin, L. Roy

<p>After large-scale accidental overexposure to ionizing radiation, a rapid triage of the exposed population can be performed by scoring dicentrics and ring chromosomes among 50 metaphases. This is rapid but is not accurate because the sensitivity is around 0.5 Gy. After the triage step, dose can be estimated by scoring 500 metaphases. This is lengthy but very accurate because the sensitivity is between 0.1 and 0.2 Gy. To improve the methodology, we propose the use of software for automatic dicentric scoring that was tested on victims of an accident in Dakar. Manual scoring of 50 metaphases was carried out, then manual scoring of 500 metaphases, and automatic scoring. Comparison between the dose classifications obtained with manual scoring on 50 metaphases and 500 metaphases showed 50% misclassification with the manual scoring on 50 metaphases. Comparison between the dose classifications obtained with the automatic scoring and manual scoring on 500 metaphases showed only 4.35% misclassification with the automatic scoring. The automatic scoring method is more accurate than the manual scoring on 50 metaphases and can therefore be used for triage, and in place of the manual scoring on 500 metaphases method for individual dose estimation, because it is as accurate and much faster.</p>

Pharmacogen Genom, 16, 87- 99

Cytogenmetic biomarkers, urinary metabolites and metabolic gene polymorphisms in workers exposed to styrene.

L. Migliore, A. Naccarati, F. Coppedè, E. Bergamaschi, G. De Palma, A. Voho, P. Manini, H. Järventaus, A. Mutti, H. Norppa, A. Hirvonen

The present study comprised a biomonitoring study in 95 workers occupationally exposed to styrene and 98 unexposed controls, employing an integrated approach involving biomarkers of exposure, effect, and susceptibility. Airborne styrene was evaluated at workplace, and urinary styrene metabolites, mandelic acid (MA), phenylglyoxylic acid (PGA), vinylphenols (VPTs) and phenylhydroxyethylmercapturic acids (PHEMAs), were measured as biomarkers of internal dose. Cytogenetic alterations were evaluated by analysing the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and micronucleated binucleated cells (MNBN) in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The micronucleus assay was coupled with centromeric fluorescence in situ hybridization to distinguish micronuclei (MN) arising from chromosomal breakage (C- MN) from those harboring whole chromosomes (C+ MN). The possible influence of genetic polymorphisms of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes involved in styrene biotransformation (EPHX1, GSTT1, GSTM1, GSTP1) and NAT2 on the cytogenetic endpoints was investigated. The exposed workers showed a significantly higher frequency of MNBN (13.8+/-0.5% versus 9.2+/-0.4%; P<0.001) compared to control subjects. The effect appeared to concern both C- and C+ MN. A positive correlation was seen between the frequency of C+ MN and urinary level of MA+PGA (P<0.05) and VPTs (P<0.001). Chromosome-type CAs positively correlated with airborne styrene level and VPTs (P<0.05), whereas chromatid-type CAs correlated with PHEMAs (P<0.05). Workers bearing GSTM1 null genotype showed lowered levels of PHEMAs (P<0.001). The GSTT1 null genotype was associated with increased MNBN frequencies in the exposed workers (P<0.05) and the fast activity EPHX genotype with a moderate decrease in both MNBN and CAs in the controls. Our results suggest that occupational exposure to styrene has genotoxic effects that are potentiated by the GSTT1 gene deletion. These observations may have relevance considering the risk of lymphatic and haematopoietic malignancies tentatively associated with styrene exposure.

Cytogenet Genome Res, 104, 383- 389

New developments in automated cytogenetic imaging: unattended scoring of dicentric chromosomes, micronuclei, single cell electrophoresis, and fluorescence signals.

C. Schunck, T. Johannes, D. Varga, T. Lörch, A. Plesch

The quantification of DNA damage, both in vivo and in vitro, can be very time consuming, since large amounts of samples need to be scored. Additional uncertainties may arise due to the lack of documentation or by scoring biases. Image analysis automation is a possible strategy to cope with these difficulties and to generate a new quality of reproducibility. In this communication we collected some recent results obtained with the automated scanning platform Metafer, covering applications that are being used in radiation research, biological dosimetry, DNA repair research and environmental mutagenesis studies. We can show that the automated scoring for dicentric chromosomes, for micronuclei, and for Comet assay cells produce reliable and reproducible results, which prove the usability of automated scanning in the above mentioned research fields.

Radioprotection, 38, 323- 340

Comparaison de systèmes d'analyse d'images cytologiques en dosimétrie biologique (FRENCH)

L. Roy, M. Delbos, N. Paillole, V. Durand, P. Voisin

La technique de référence en dosimétrie biologique est basée sur le dénombrement des aberrations chromosomiques de type dicentrique induit par les rayonnements ionisants. Cet article présente divers systèmesd'analyse d'images utilisés en dosimétrie biologique pour aider la détection de ces aberrations. Les systèmes présentés sont le CYTOGEN de la société IMSTAR, le CYTOSCAN (APPLIED IMAGING) et le METAFER (METASYSTEM). Tous ne présentent pas les mêmes fonctionnalités et chacun peut être utilisé de façon plus ou moins automatique. Certaines fonctionnalités communes de ces systèmes sont comparées. L'aide apportée par les systèmes porte sur 3 points : (1) localisation automatique des métaphases sur les lames, dans ce cas on a un gain de temps d'un facteur 2 à 4 par rapport au comptage manuel ; (2) un outil d'aide au comptage qui apporte un confort de lecture et une meilleure fiabilité des résultats ; (3) la détection automatique des dicentriques est particulièrement utile en cas de tri de population. En effet, dans ce cas il faut estimer très rapidement la dose reçue par un nombre important de personnes. Par contre, l'estimation de dose n'a pas besoin d'être aussi précise que dans le cas de l'expertise individuelle. Des erreurs dans la détection des dicentriques est alors tolérée et une détection automatique des dicentriques est envisageable. Le gain de temps est très appréciable puisqu'il est possible de compter 300 cellules en une demie-heure (METAFER) contre 25 avec la seule aide du chercheur de métaphases. Cependant la qualité de la détection doit encore être améliorée puisque 50 % des dicentriques ne sont pas détectées. Le marquage des centromères par technique FISH devrait permettre d'améliorer la sensibilité de la technique. Les premiers résultats sont encourageant puisque 90 % des centromères sont correctements détectés mais d'autres expériences doivent êtres réalisées pour évaluer le gain de temps.

Mutation Research, 272, 31- 34

Time-saving in biological dosimetry by using the automatic metaphase finder Metafer2

J. Weber, W. Scheid, H. Traut

The amount of time-saving by using the Metafer2 metaphase finder for routine analysis of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations (biological dosimetry) was determined. Metaphases were prepared by standard methods from cultures of human peripheral blood lymphocytes and stained either with Giemsa or with the FPG method. The metaphase finder was used for detecting metaphases on the microscope slides and for automatically processing the evaluation data. In our laboratory, standardized analysis of 1000 metaphases requires at least 3 working days for cell culturing and slide preparation and 51.5 working hours for cytogenetic analysis. When using the metaphase finder the time required for cytogenetic analysis is reduced to 17.3 working hours (time-saving factor: 51.5/17.3 h = 3.0). In our prolonged method, including more than one scoring of each slide and karyotyping of metaphases with chromosome aberrations, the analysis times for 1000 cells are 132 and 70 working hours, respectively (time saving factor: 132/70 h = 1.9).