Relationship between the recovery from sublethal X-ray damage and the rejoining of chromosome breaks in normal human fibroblasts

J. S. Bedford, M. N. Cornforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Using plateau-phase cultures of AG1522 normal human fibroblasts, we examined relationships between the breakage and rejoining of chromosomes and the induction and repair of sublethal damage (SLD) following fractionated doses of X rays. The rate constant for the rejoining of breaks in prematurely condensed interphase chromosomes, measured previously, accurately predicts both the rate of change in survival due to potentially lethal damage (PLD) repair and the rate of change in survival for dose fractionation due to SLD repair. Further, changes in the frequency of chromosome-type deletions and asymmetrical exchange aberrations measured in the first postirradiation mitosis corresponded closely with changes in cell killing when doses were fractionated, and a dose-fractionation- or dose-rate-independent α component of damage was similar for aberration and cell killing end points. These results substantiate the hypothesis that sublethal damage repair results from the rejoining of breaks in interphase chromatin produced by a first dose so they no longer are capable of interacting with those produced by a second dose. The fact that the repair of potentially lethal damage is also readily explained on the basis of chromosome break rejoining (M.N. Cornforth and J.S. Bedford, Radiat. Res. 111, 385-405 (1987)) strongly suggests that PLD and SLD repair are different manifestations of the same basic process operating on the same basic lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-423
Number of pages18
JournalRadiation research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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