Nakamura, N., Nakano, M., Kodama, Y., Ohtaki, K., Cologne, J. and Awa, A. A. Prediction of Clonal Chromosome Aberration Frequency in Human Blood Lymphocytes. Radiat. Res. 161, 282–289 (2004).

We recently conducted a large-scale screening for clonal aberrations among atomic bomb survivors and proposed a model for the gross clonal composition of blood lymphocytes. Here we show an application of the model indicating that the number, m,of clones detectable by cytogenetic methods in an individual is predictable by the equation m= (1.8 + 6.4FG) × FP× n/500, where FGrepresents the estimated translocation frequency in the 46 chromosome set, FPis the observed translocation frequency with FISH or other methods, and nis the number of cells examined. Application of the equation to the results of seven other reports gave close agreement between the observed and calculated numbers of clones. Since the model assumes that clonal expansion is ubiquitous, and any translocation can be the constituent of a clone detectable by cytogenetic means, the vast majority of observed clonal expansions of these somatic cells are likely the result of random-hit events that are not detrimental to human health. Furthermore, since our model can predict the majority of clonal aberrations among Chernobyl workers who were examined 5–6 years after irradiation, clonal expansion seems to occur primarily within a few years after exposure to radiation, most likely being coupled with the process of recovery from radiation-induced injury in the lymphoid and hematopoietic systems.

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