Biomarkers of Alpha Particle Radiation Exposure


  1. Chauhan, V.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The threat of terrorist-precipitated nuclear event places humans at risk for radiological exposures. Increased forensic capability through the development of biological tools to help identify those involved should be an integral to a national strategy against terrorism. Such capacities may potentially deter a mass casualty event and would be of benefit for rapidly identifying those who are exposed, if such a terrorist event were to occur. Among the isotopes to be used, those emitting alpha-particles pose the highest risk. Here we describe work towards the identification of gene-based biomarkers of alpha-particle radiation exposure. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMN) isolated from healthy individuals were irradiated with alpha-particle radiation at doses of 0, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 Gy. Genomic strategies were then employed to identify transcripts that were differentially expressed relative to un-irradiated cells, 24 hours post-exposure. Stringent statistical analysis identified strong responding genes at each of the individual doses tested. Among these genes, 31 were common to all doses with high expression levels ranging from 2-10 fold. This subset of genes were further validated in complete white blood cell (WBC) populations and compared to X-ray exposure using quantitative real-time PCR. The gene panel was responsive in the alpha−particle exposed WBC’s and was shown to exhibit a unique expression profile from X-irradiated cells. This initial data is promising and

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radiological exposure;medical treatment of radiological exposure;mass casualty mitigation
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2014-C130 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Apr 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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