Specific p53 gene mutations in urinary bladder epithelium after the Chernobyl accident.
After the Chernobyl accident, the incidence of urinary bladder cancers in the Ukraine population increased gradually from 26.2 to 36.1 per 100,000 between 1986 and 1996. Urinary bladder epithelium biopsied from 45 male patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia living in radiocontaminated areas of Ukraine demonstrated frequent severe urothelial dysplasia, carcinoma in situ, and a single invasive transitional cell carcinoma, combined with irradiation cystitis in 42 cases (93%). No neoplastic changes (carcinoma in situ or transitional cell carcinoma) were found in 10 patients from clean areas (areas without radiocontamination). DNA was extracted from the altered urothelium of selected paraffin-embedded specimens that showed obviously abnormal histology (3 cases) or intense p53 immunoreactivity (15 cases), and mutational analysis of exons 5-8 of the p53 gene was performed by PCR-single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis followed by DNA sequencing. Nine of 17 patients (53%) had one or more mutations in the altered urothelium. Urine sediment samples were also collected from the patients at 4-27 months after biopsy and analyzed by PCR-single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis or yeast functional assay, and identical or additional p53 mutations were found in four of five cases. Interestingly, a relative hot spot at codon 245 was found in five of nine (56%) cases with mutations, and 11 of the 13 mutations determined (73%) were G:C to A:T transitions at CpG dinucleotides, reported to be relatively infrequent (approximately 18%) in human urinary bladder cancers. Therefore, the frequent and specific p53 mutations found in these male patients may alert us to a future elevated occurrence of urinary bladder cancers in the radiocontaminated areas. (+info)
Environmental radioactivity, population exposure and related health risks in the east Baltic region.
The paper considers radioactive contamination of the east Baltic region, population exposures, and the risk of damage to human health. Principal sources include global fallout, the Chernobyl accident, and marine transport of radionuclides. A mean annual exposure of 2-3 mSv comes from environmental radioactivity. Main contributors are primarily radon and its decay products. The Chernobyl accident brought an additional dose of about 0.5 mSv in southern Finland and 1.4 mSv in the most contaminated districts of the Leningrad region, Russia. Both external and internal exposure via contaminated food contributed. Currently, significant long-term radiological consequences of the Chernobyl accident include persistent radioactive contamination of natural terrestrial (forest) and freshwater (oligotrophic lakes) ecosystems and food products. Radiation health risks are lung cancer among the general population from indoor exposure to radon, acute radiation syndrome from occupational exposure, thyroid cancer among children in heavily contaminated non-Baltic areas, and mutations among offspring of exposed parents. (+info)
Radiological states around the Kraton-4 underground nuclear explosion site in Sakha.
A radiological survey around the site of Kraton-4, an underground nuclear explosion (Yield of 20 kt, depth of 560 m, 1978) in Sakha was carried out in March 1998. Gamma survey and in-situ spectroscopy on the ground exhibited quite normal levels: a dose rate of 0.022 microSv/h and Cs-137 surface contamination of less than 1.1 kBq/m2 around the hypocenter. The results suggested no remarkable leakage of radioactivity from the epicenter to the ground surface at least not for non-rare gas elements as of 1998. (+info)
In vitro determination of oxidation of atmospheric tritium gas in vegetation and soil in Ibaraki and Gifu, Japan.
To quantify the rate of oxidation of tritium gas (referred to as HT) to tritiated water in the environment, various woody and herbaceous plant leaves and roots, mosses and lichens taken from a forest and fields in Ibaraki prefecture, and a forest in Toki, Gifu prefecture, were investigated as to their ability to oxidize atmospheric HT in in vitro experiments. The HT oxidation activity in vegetation was compared with that in the surrounding surface soil (0-5 cm in depth). The rate of oxidation of HT in woody plant leaves including pine needles was extremely low, only about 1/10000-1/1000 that in the surface soil, as well as in herbaceous plant leaves with some exceptions (Phalaris arundinacea and Vaccinium smallii), whereas the rate in mosses and lichens was 50-500 times that in pine needles. The HT oxidation activity in roots of several plants including Phalaris arundinacea, Pieris japonica and Lespedeza homoloba was quite high and comparable to that in the surrounding surface soil. These results suggest that mosses, lichens and the leaves or roots of particular plants with high HT oxidation activity can be used to monitor the accidental release of HT into the environment. (+info)
Plant uptake of radiocaesium: a review of mechanisms, regulation and application.
Soil contamination with radiocaesium (Cs) has a long-term radiological impact because it is readily transferred through food chains to human beings. Plant uptake is the major pathway for the migration of radiocaesium from soil to human diet. The plant-related factors that control the uptake of radiocaesium are reviewed. Of these, K supply exerts the greatest influence on Cs uptake from solution. It appears that the uptake of radiocaesium is operated mainly by two transport pathways on plant root cell membranes, namely the K(+) transporter and the K(+) channel pathway. Cationic interactions between K and Cs on isolated K-channels or K transporters are in agreement with studies using intact plants. The K(+) transporter functioning at low external potassium concentration (often <0.3 mM) shows little discrimination against Cs(+), while the K(+) channel is dominant at high external potassium concentration with high discrimination against Cs(+). Caesium has a high mobility within plants. Although radiocaesium is most likely taken up by the K transport systems within the plant, the Cs:K ratio is not uniform within the plant. Difference in internal Cs concentration (when expressed on a dry mass basis) may vary by a factor of 20 between different plant species grown under similar conditions. Phytoremediation may be a possible option to decontaminate radiocaesium-contaminated soils, but its major limitation is that it takes an excessively long time (tens of years) and produces large volumes of waste. (+info)
Activation of soil and chemical reagents exposed to the neutrons released by the JCO criticality accident in Tokai-mura.
Specific activities (Bq/g-element) of residual neutron-induced radionuclides by the JCO criticality accident were measured for soil, concrete block and chemical reagent samples collected in the JCO campus. Induced radionuclides such as 24Na, 46Sc, 54Mn, 59Fe, 60Co, 65Zn, 82Br, 122Sb, 134Cs and 140La were detected in the samples, depending on the ground distance from the accident point and the sampling date. Apparent thermal, epi-thermal and fast neutron fluences, which reached the sample at each point, were roughly estimated from the specific activities and cross sections of the target nuclides taken from a literature. The present data are believed to be important as validation data for a three-dimensional neutron transport model calculation. (+info)
Effects of low chronic doses of ionizing radiation on antioxidant enzymes and G6PDH activities in Stipa capillata (Poaceae).
Stipa capillata (Poaceae) seeds were harvested from a control area (displaying a gamma dose rate of 0.23 micro Sv h(-1)) (C plants) and from two contaminated areas (5.4 and 25 micro Sv h(-1)) on the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site (SNTS) in Kazakhstan. The plants were grown for 124 d in a greenhouse under controlled conditions and exposed to three different treatments: (0) control; (E) external gamma irradiation delivered by a sealed 137Cs source with a dose rate of 66 micro Sv h(-1); (E+I) E treatment combined with internal beta irradiation due to contamination by 134Cs and 85Sr via root uptake from the soil. The root uptake led to a contamination of 100 Bq g(-1) for 85Sr and 5 Bq g(-1) for 134Cs (of plant dry weight) as measured at harvest. The activity of SOD, APX, GR, POD, CAT, G6PDH, and MDHAR enzymes was measured in leaves. Under (0) treatment, all enzymes showed similar activities, except POD, which had higher activity in plants originating from contaminated areas. Treatment (E) induced an enhancement of POD, CAT, GR, SOD, and G6PDH activities in plants originating from contaminated areas. Only control plants showed any stimulation of APX activity. Treatment (E+I) had no significant effect on APX, GR, CAT, and POD activities, but MDHAR activity was significantly reduced while SOD and G6PDH activities were significantly increased. The increase occurred in plants from all origins for SOD, with a greater magnitude as a function of their origin, and it occurred only in plants from the more contaminated populations for G6PDH. This suggests that exposure to a low dose rate of ionizing radiation for almost a half century in the original environment of Stipa has led to natural selection of the most adapted genotypes characterized by an efficient induction of anti-oxidant enzyme activities, especially SOD and G6PDH, involved in plant protection against reactive oxygen species. (+info)
Natural radioactivity and human mitochondrial DNA mutations.
Radioactivity is known to induce tumors, chromosome lesions, and minisatellite length mutations, but its effects on the DNA sequence have not previously been studied. A coastal peninsula in Kerala (India) contains the world's highest level of natural radioactivity in a densely populated area, offering an opportunity to characterize radiation-associated DNA mutations. We sampled 248 pedigrees (988 individuals) in the high-radiation peninsula and in nearby low-radiation islands as a control population. We sequenced their mtDNA, and found that the pedigrees living in the high-radiation area have significantly (P < 0.01) increased germ-line point mutations between mothers and their offspring. In each mutation case, we confirmed maternity by autosomal profiling. Strikingly, the radioactive conditions accelerate mutations at nucleotide positions that have been evolutionary hot spots for at least 60,000 years. (+info)