Transferable clastogenic activity in plasma from persons exposed as salvage personnel of the Chernobyl reactor

I. Emerit, A. Levy, L. Cernjavski, R. Arutyunyan, N. Oganesyan, A. Pogosian, H. Mejlumian, T. Sarkisian, M. Gulkandanian, M. Quastel, J. Goldsmith, E. Riklis, E. Kordysh, S. Poliak, L. Merklin

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    89 Scopus citations


    Clastogenic factors were first described in the plasma of people who had been accidentally or therapeutically irradiated. They were found also in A-bomb survivors, where they persisted for many years after the irradiation. The present study searched for these factors in the plasma of 32 civil workers from Armenia, who had been engaged as "liquidators" around the Chernobyl atomic power station in 1986. It also included 15 liquidators who had emigrated from the ex-Soviet Union to Israel. Reference plasma samples were obtained from 41 blood donors from the Armenian Blood Center in Yerevan. The samples were tested for their clastogenic activity in blood cultures from healthy donors. The majority of results from the liquidators exceeded those from the unexposed reference samples. The samples from the first Armenian group, with the higher average irradiation dose (0.6±0.6 Gy), were more clastogenic than those from the second group exposed to 0.2±0.2 Gy. The number of aberrations in the test cultures was 17.9±2.9% and 10.5±3.8% respectively, compared to 5.7±3.2% in the cultures exposed to the reference ultrafiltrates from Armenian blood donors. The samples from the Israeli liquidators also induced significantly increased aberration rates (14.0±3.9% aberrant cells). The clastogenic activity was regularly inhibited by superoxide dismutase, indicating that the chromosome-damaging effects of radiation-induced clastogenic factors are exerted via the intermediation of superoxide radicals, as is known for clastogenic factors of different origin.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)558-561
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 1994


    • Chernobyl reactor recovery workers
    • Clastogenic activity
    • Radiation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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