The goal of this study was to determine whether in vivo X irradiation induces nontargeted effects, such as delayed effects and bystander effects in ICR mouse lymphocytes. We first examined the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in lymphocytes, isolated from ICR mice exposed to 1 Gy X irradiation, by enumeration of p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) foci, and observed that the number of 53BP1 foci reached their maximum 3 days postirradiation and decreased to background level 30 days postirradiation. However, the number of 53BP1 foci was significantly increased in lymphocytes isolated from ICR mice 90–365 days postirradiation. This result indicates that in vivo X irradiation induced delayed DSBs in ICR mouse lymphocytes. We next counted the number of 53BP1 foci in lymphocytes isolated from sham-irradiated ICR mice that had been co-cultured with lymphocytes isolated from 1 Gy X-irradiated ICR mice, and observed a significant increase in the number of 53BP1 foci 1–7 days postirradiation. This result indicates that in vivo X irradiation induced bystander effects in ICR mouse lymphocytes. These findings suggest that in vivo X irradiation induces early and delayed nontargeted effects in ICR mouse lymphocytes.

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