The origin of multiaberrant cells (MACs) was studied by comparing the structure and intensity of chromosome damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes of two groups of people: workers of Siberian Chemical Plant differing in the content of plutonium-239 in their bodies, and inhabitants of a non-polluted settlement (control group). Plutonium-239 is known to be a long-lived densely-ionizing source of α-radiation with high linear energy delivery; therefore, it has a stronger effect on cell hereditary structures than γ-rays. In persons with the content of plutonium-239 higher than 13 nCu, the frequency of MAC was 0.105% which at least tenfold exceeds the spontaneous level. The chromosome-type aberrations that are usually induced by ionizing radiation predominated in MACs. Our results suggest that MAC formation may be caused by internal body irradiation with the incorporated sources of densely-ionizing radiation.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 16, 2005
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