Induction, processing and persistence of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations involving hamster euchromatin and heterochromatin

S. Puerto, R. Marcos, M. J. Ramírez, A. Creus, J. J.W.A. Boei, M. Meijers, A. T. Natarajan, J. Surrallés

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Euchromatic and heterochromatic regions are easily distinguished in Chinese hamster sex chromosomes, hence offering the possibility of studying the role of chromatin structure in the induction, processing and persistence of radiation-induced chromosome damage. X-ray (4Gy)-induced breaks in the euchromatic Xp and in the heterochromatic Xq were analysed immediately and 4h after irradiation by premature chromosome condensation (PCC) in combination with either FISH using chromosome arm-specific probes or Giemsa staining. The study, performed with female Chinese hamster splenocytes, was extended to a 34h recovery followed by arm-specific FISH in metaphase. A significant over-involvement of the heterochromatic Xq in radiation-induced breakage was observed at all sampling times (p<0.001). However, the heterochromatic state had little effect on the processing of the induced lesions. In a second experiment, the persistence of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations (CAs) involving Xp, Xq and Y chromosome was studied with cultured Chinese hamster male splenocytes sampled 30, 56 and 96h after irradiation (4Gy). A higher involvement of the heterochromatic regions (Xq and Y) in radiation-induced CAs was again observed in the first sampling time (p<0.001), suggesting that Chinese hamster heterochromatin could be more radiosensitive than euchromatin. Cells with CAs involving heterochromatin were apparently less persistent than those with lesions involving euchromatin. This observation could be attributable to either the distribution of CA per cell or to the fraction of potentially stable exchanges. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2000


  • Arm-specific FISH
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Euchromatin
  • Hamster
  • Heterochromatin
  • Radiation-induced


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