Premature chromosome condensation assay to study influence of high-level natural radiation on the initial DNA double strand break repair in human G0 lymphocytes.
The inherent capacity of individuals to efficiently repair ionizing radiation induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) may be inherited, however, it is influenced by several epigenetic and environmental factors. A pilot study tested whether chronic low dose natural radiation exposure influences the rejoining of initial DNA DSBs induced by a 2 Gy γ-irradiation in 22 individuals from high (>1.5 mGy/year) and normal (≤1.5 mGy/year) level natural radiation areas (H&NLNRA) of Kerala. Rejoining of DSBs (during 1 h at 37 °C, immediately after irradiation) was evaluated at the chromosome level in the presence and absence of wortmannin (a potent inhibitor of DSB repair in normal human cells) using a cell fusion-induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC) assay. The PCC assay quantitates DSBs in the form of excess chromosome fragments in human G lymphocytes without the requirement for cell division. A quantitative difference was observed in the early rejoining of DNA DSBs between individuals from HLNRA and NLNRA, with HLNRA individuals showing a higher (P = 0.05) mean initial repair ratio. The results indicate an influence of chronic low dose natural radiation on initial DNA DSB repair in inhabitants of HLNRA of the Kerala coast.