Radiation-induced cell death by chromatin loss. A model to explain the shape of low-linear-energy-transfer cell survival curves

The British Journal of Radiology
I R Campbell, H M Warenius


A model is proposed which relates reproductive death of cells caused by radiation to loss of chromatin at cell division. This loss of chromatin can occur through chromosomal deletions or through the formation of asymmetrical chromosomal exchanges. It is proposed that smaller doses of radiation produce fewer chromatin breaks, which are more likely to be accurately repaired, compared with larger doses. Consequently, smaller doses of radiation are less efficient in causing cell death, leading to a shoulder on the cell survival curve. Experimental evidence supports this model, and the fit between the derived formula and experimental cell survival curves is good. The derived formula approximates to the linear-quadratic equation at low doses of radiation.


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Related Concepts

Cell Division Phases
Cell Survival
Energy Transfer

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