Effects of cell cycle phase on low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity

S. C. Short, M. Woodcock, B. Marples, M. C. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the low-dose radiation response of human glioma cell lines separated into different cell-cycle phases and to determine if low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity (HRS) differs in populations defined by cell-cycle position. To assess whether predictions of the outcome of multiple low-dose regimens should take account of cell-cycle effects. Materials and methods: The clonogenic survival of G1, G2 and S phase cells was measured after exposure to single doses of X-rays in two human glioma cell lines. One cell line (T98G) showed marked HRS when asynchronous cells were irradiated, while the other (U373) did not. Separation of populations and high-resolution cell counting was achieved using a fluorescence activated cell sorter. Sorted cell populations were irradiated with 240 kVp X-rays to doses between 0.05 and 5 Gy. The resulting cell-survival versus dose data were comparatively fitted using the linear-quadratic and induced-repair models in order to assess the degree of HRS. Results: In both cell lines the low-dose response was altered when different populations were irradiated. In T98G cells, all populations showed HRS, but this was most marked in G2 phase cells. In U373 cells, no HRS was found in G1 or S phase cells, but HRS was demonstrable in G2 phase cells. Conclusions: HRS was expressed by the whole cell population of T98G cells but the size of the effect varied with cell-cycle phase and was most marked in the G2 population. In U373 cells, the effect could only be demonstrated in G2 cells. This implies that HRS is primarily a response of G2 phase cells and that this response dominates that seen in asynchronous populations. Actively proliferating cell populations may therefore demonstrate a greater increase in radiosensitivity to very low radiation doses compared with quiescent populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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