The use of caffeine to assess high dose exposures to ionising radiation by dicentric analysis

Mónica Pujol, Roser Puig, Maria Rosa Caballín, Leonardo Barrios, Joan Francesc Barquinero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Dicentric analysis is considered as a 'gold standard' method for biological dosimetry. However, due to the radiation-induced mitotic delay or inability to reach mitosis of heavily damaged cells, the analysis of dicentrics is restricted to doses up to 4-5 Gy. For higher doses, the analysis by premature chromosome condensation technique has been proposed. Here, it is presented a preliminary study is presented in which an alternative method to analyse dicentrics after high dose exposures to ionising radiation (IR) is evaluated. The method is based on the effect of caffeine in preventing the G2/M checkpoint allowing damaged cells to reach mitosis. The results obtained indicate that the co-treatment with Colcemid and caffeine increases significantly increases the mitotic index, and hence allows a more feasible analysis of dicentrics. Moreover in the dose range analysed, from 0 to 15 Gy, the dicentric cell distribution followed the Poisson distribution, and a simulated partial-body exposure has been clearly detected. Overall, the results presented here suggest that caffeine has a great potential to be used for dose-assessment after high dose exposure to IR. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberncr326
Pages (from-to)392-398
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


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