Mammalian cells are hypersensitive to very low doses of X-rays (<0.2 Gy), a response which is followed by increased radioresistance up to 1 Gy. Increased radioresistance is postulated to be a response to DNA damage, possibly single-strand breaks, and it appears to be a characteristic of low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. Here we demonstrate a correspondence between the extent of the increased radioresistance and linear energy transfer of 250 kVp X-rays and plateau and Bragg peak negative π-mesons. The results support our hypothesis since the size of the increased radioresistant response appears to correspond to the number of radiation induced single-strand breaks. Furthermore, since survival prior to the increased radioresistant response (<0.2 Gy) was LET-independent, these data support the notion that the increased radioresistant response may dictate the overall survival response to higher doses. However, while these data provide further circumstantial evidence for the involvement of DNA strand breaks in the triggering of increased radioresistance, more direct conclusions cannot be made. The data are not accurate enough to detect structure in the single-strand break profiles, the production of single-strand breaks being apparently linear with dose.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging