Previous research has demonstrated that adding a very small gamma-ray dose to a small alpha radiation dose can completely suppress lung cancer induction by alpha radiation (a gamma-ray hormetic effect). Here we investigated the possibility of gamma-ray hormesis during low-dose neutron irradiation, since a small contribution to the total radiation dose from neutrons involves gamma rays. Using binucleated cells with micronuclei (micronucleated cells) among in vitro monoenergetic-neutron-irradiated human lymphocytes as a measure of residual damage, we investigated the influence of the small gammaray contribution to the dose on suppressing residual damage. We used residual damage data from previous experiments that involved neutrons with five different energies (0.22-, 0.44-, 1.5-, 5.9-, and 13.7-million electron volts [MeV]). Corresponding gamma-ray contributions to the dose were approximately 1%, 1%, 2%, 6%, and 6%, respectively. Total absorbed radiation doses were 0, 10, 50, and 100 mGy for each neutron source. We demonstrate for the first time a protective effect (reduced residual damage) of the small gamma-ray contribution to the neutron dose. Using similar data for exposure to gamma rays only, we also demonstrate a protective effect of 10 mGy (but not 50 or 100 mGy) related to reducing the frequency of micronucleated cells to below the spontaneous level.
Rithidech, Kanokporn Noy and Scott, Bobby R
"EVIDENCE FOR RADIATION HORMESIS AFTER IN VITRO EXPOSURE OF HUMAN LYMPHOCYTES TO LOW DOSES OF IONIZING RADIATION,"
Dose-Response: An International Journal: Vol. 6
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dose_response/vol6/iss3/4