As most occupational and environmental exposures to ionizing radiation are at low dose rates or in small dose fractions, risk estimation requires that the effects of the temporal distribution of dose are taken into account. Previous in vitro studies of oncogenic transformation, as well as in vivo studies of carcinogenesis induced by high-LET radiation, yielded controversial results concerning the presence of an inverse dose-rate effect. The present study tested the influence of one scheme of dose fractionation of monoenergetic neutrons on neoplastic transformation of C3H 10T1/2 cells. Neutrons of 0.5, 1.0 and 6.0 MeV were used. Cells were exposed to doses of 0.25 and 0.5 Gy, given acutely or in five fractions at 2-h intervals. The acute and fractionated irradiations with each energy were done on the same day. No significant difference between the two irradiation modes was found for both cell inactivation and neoplastic transformation at all energies. These results are in agreement with our data for fractionated fission-spectrum neutrons from the RSV-TAPIRO reactor.

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