Although human exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation can occur through a variety of sources, including natural, medical, occupational and accidental, the true risks of low-dose ionizing radiation are still poorly understood in humans. Here, the global transcriptional responses of human skin after ex vivo exposure to low (0.05 Gy) and high (5 Gy) doses of X rays and of time in culture (0 Gy) at 0, 2, 8 and 30 h postirradiation were analyzed and compared. Responses to low and high doses differed quantitatively and qualitatively. Differentially expressed genes fell into three groups: (1) unique genes defined as responsive to either 0.05 or 5 Gy but not both and also responsive to time in culture, (2) specific genes defined as responsive to either 0.05 or 5 Gy but not both and not responsive to time in culture, and (3) dose-independent responsive genes. Major differences observed in ex vivo irradiated skin between transcriptional responses to low or high doses were twofold. First, gene expression modulated by 0.05 Gy was transient, while in response to 5 Gy persistence of modified gene expression was observed for a limited number of genes. Second, neither TP53 nor TGFβ target genes were modulated after exposure to an acute low dose, suggesting that the TP53-dependent DNA damage response either was not triggered or was triggered only briefly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging