A Survey on the Possibility of Utilizing gamma H2AX as a Biodosimeter in Radiation Workers

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

2 Infectious Diseases Research Center and Laboratory Sciences Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran


DNA damage is among the main consequences of radiation. Of many different classes of DNA damage, double-strand breaks are the most deleterious. Development of a sensitive biodosimetry method, which utilizes a detection material with a similar construction to the body, seems essential for monitoring radiation workers. In this study, histone H2AX protein was examined as a potential   biodosimeter in radiation workers. Moreover, the presence of this protein after in vitro irradiation of blood samples was assessed simultaneously.
Materials and Methods
Blood samples from 46 radiation workers were analyzed in Golestan province, Iran. Meanwhile, two groups of blood samples (five blood samples in each group) were irradiated in vitro by doses of 1 to 0.2 Gy and 0.09 to 0.01 Gy from a 60Co source, respectively. gH2AX level in lymphocytes was measured, using Western blot technique. ANOVA and Tukey’s tests were performed, using SPSS version 16. The significance level was considered to be 0.05.
The results of Western blotting for the identification of gH2AX protein in  radiation workers were negative. However, gH2AX level in lymphocytes of two in vitro irradiated groups showed a significant correlation with the radiation dose (P<0.0001).
The results showed that gH2AX was a good indicator for acute or local exposure to ionizing radiation, while in chronically exposed individuals, including radiation workers, this protein was useless at least in autoradiography detection method. Regarding the presence of gH2AX protein in blood samples, which were irradiated in vitro at low doses, it can be concluded that this protein has powerful repair mechanisms.


Main Subjects