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Persistence of Space Radiation Induced Cytogenetic Damage in the Blood Lymphocytes of AstronautsCytogenetic damage in astronaut's peripheral blood lymphocytes is a useful in vivo marker of space radiation induced damage. Moreover, if radiation induced chromosome translocations persist in peripheral blood lymphocytes for many years, as has been assumed, they could potentially be used to measure retrospective doses or prolonged low dose rate exposures. However, as more data becomes available, evidence suggests that the yield of translocations may decline with time after exposure, at least in the case of space radiation exposures. We present our latest follow-up measurements of chromosome aberrations in astronauts blood lymphocytes assessed by FISH painting and collected a various times beginning directly after return from space to several years after flight. For most individuals the analysis of individual time-courses for translocations revealed a temporal decline of yields with different half-lives. Since the level of stable aberrations depends on the interplay between natural loss of circulating T-lymphocytes and replenishment from the stem or progenitor cells, the differences in the rates of decay could be explained by inter-individual variation in lymphocyte turn over. Biodosimetry estimates derived from cytogenetic analysis of samples collected a few days after return to earth lie within the range expected from physical dosimetry. However, a temporal decline in yields may indicate complications with the use of stable aberrations for retrospective dose reconstruction, and the differences in the decay time may reflect individual variability in risk from space radiation exposure. In addition, limited data on multiple flights show a lack of correlation between time in space and translocation yields. Data from one crewmember who has participated in two separate long-duration space missions and has been followed up for over 10 years provides limited information on the effect of repeat flights and show a possible adaptive response to space radiation exposure.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
George, Kerry
(Wyle Labs., Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Cucinotta, Francis A.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2008
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly(Montreal)
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