The Effect of p53 Status on Radio-Sensitivity of Quiescent Tumor Cell Population Irradiated With γ-Rays at Various Dose Rates

Shin-ichiro Masunaga, Junya Kobayashi, Keizo Tano, Yu Sanada, Minoru Suzuki, Koji Ono


Background: The aim of the study was to clarify the effect of p53 status of tumor cells on radio-sensitivity of solid tumors following γ-ray irradiation at various dose rates, referring to the response of intratumor quiescent (Q) cells.

Methods: Human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells transfected with mutant TP53 (SAS/mp53) or with neo vector (SAS/neo) were injected subcutaneously into hind legs of nude mice. Tumor bearing mice received 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) continuously to label all intratumor proliferating (P) cells. They received γ-rays at a high, middle or low dose rate. Immediately or 9 h after the high dose-rate irradiation (HDR, 2.5 Gy/min), or immediately after the middle (MDR, 0.039 Gy/min) or low (LDR, 0.00098 Gy/min) dose-rate irradiation, the tumor cells were isolated and incubated with a cytokinesis blocker, and the micronucleus (MN) frequency in cells without BrdU labeling (Q cells) was determined using immunofluorescence staining for BrdU.

Results: Following γ-ray irradiation, SAS/neo tumor cells, especially intratumor Q cells, showed a marked reduction in sensitivity due to the recovery from radiation-induced damage, compared with the total or Q cells within SAS/mp53 tumors that showed little repair capacity. The recovery capacities following γ-ray irradiation were greater in Q than total cell population and increased in the following order of 9 h after HDR < MDR < LDR. Thus, the difference in radio-sensitivity between the total (P + Q) and Q cells after γ-ray irradiation increased in the same order.

Conclusion: To secure controlling solid tumors as a whole, difference in sensitivity between total and Q tumor cells especially in solid tumors irrespective of p53 status has to be suppressed as irradiation dose rate decreases, for instance, through employing combined method for enhancing the response of Q tumor cells.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(11):815-821


p53 status; Quiescent cell; γ-rays; Irradiation dose rate; Recovery from radiation-induced damage

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