Identification of proteins secreted into the medium by human lymphocytes irradiated in vitro with or without adaptive environments

Kanokporn Noy Rithidech, Xianyin Lai, Louise Honikel, Paiboon Reungpatthanaphong, Frank A. Witzmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence to support the hypothesis of adaptive response, a phenomenon in which protection arises from a low-dose radiation (<0.1 Gy) against damage induced by subsequent exposure to high-dose radiation. The molecular mechanisms underlying such protection are poorly understood. The goal of this study was to fill this knowledge gap. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics was used to characterize global protein expression profiles in the medium collected from human lymphocyte cultures given sham irradiation (0 Gy) or a priming low dose of 0.03 Gy 137Cs γ rays 4 h prior to a challenging dose of 1 Gy 137Cs γ rays. Adaptive response was determined by decreased micronucleus frequencies in lymphocytes receiving low dose irradiation prior to high dose irradiation compared to those receiving only high dose irradiation. Adaptive response was found in these experiments. Proteomic analysis of media revealed: (a) 55 proteins with similar abundance in both groups; (b) 23 proteins in both groups, but 7 of them were high abundance in medium with adaptive environment, while 16 high abundance proteins were in medium without adaptive environment; (c) 17 proteins in medium with adaptive environment only; and (d) 8 proteins in medium without adaptive environment only. The results provide a foundation for improving understanding of the molecular mechanisms associated with the beneficial effects of low dose radiation that, in turn, will have an important impact on radiation risk estimation. Hence, these studies are highly relevant to radiation protection due to an increased use of low dose radiation in daily life (e.g., medical diagnosis or airport safety) or an unavoidable exposure to low level background radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalHealth physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • biological indicators
  • Biology
  • health effects
  • hormesis
  • radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Epidemiology

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