Journal Article

Long-term global gene expression patterns in irradiated human lymphocytes

Susann Fält, Kerstin Holmberg, Bo Lambert and Anders Wennborg

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 24, issue 11, pages 1837-1845
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Long-term global gene expression patterns in irradiated human lymphocytes

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Radiation-induced chromosomal instability has many features in common with genomic instability of cancer cells. In order to understand the delayed cellular response to ionizing radiation we have studied variations in the patterns of gene expression in primary human lymphocytes at various time points after gamma irradiation in vitro. Cells either exposed to 3 Gy of gamma rays in vitro or unexposed were subjected to long-term growth in bulk culture or as individual T-cell clones. Samples were taken at days 7, 17 or 55 from bulk cultures. The T-cell clones were harvested after 22–46 days. Total RNA was used to generate cDNA probes for hybridization to oligonucleotide arrays containing 12,625 gene templates (Affymetrix). The results showed that: (i) irradiation as well as culture time influence the gene expression patterns, (ii) the number of genes with increased or decreased expression in irradiated cells increases dramatically with increasing culture time, (iii) the changes of gene expression showed a significantly more diversified pattern in the irradiated T-cell clones than in non-irradiated clones. We conclude that the diversification of the transcriptome associated with radiation exposure reflects subtle changes of expression in many genes, rather than being the result of major changes in a few genes. Finally, (iv) we sorted out a set of genes whose change of expression correlates with radiation exposure in both bulk cultures and T-cell clones. Very few of these genes overlap with genes that change during the acute response to radiation. This set of genes may be regarded as a starting point for further studies of the cellular phenotype associated with radiation-induced genomic instability.

Keywords: MAS, Micro Array Suite Software

Journal Article.  6893 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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