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Fratini E.,Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi | Fratini E.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita Iss | Carbone C.,Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi | Capece D.,Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi | And 11 more authors.
Radiation and Environmental Biophysics | Year: 2015

Very little is known about the influence of environmental radiation on living matter. In principle, important information can be acquired by analysing possible differences between parallel biological systems, one in a reference-radiation environment (RRE) and the other in a low-radiation environment (LRE). We took advantage of the unique opportunity represented by the cell culture facilities at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories of the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, where environment dose rate reduction factors in the underground (LRE), with respect to the external laboratory (RRE), are as follows: 103 for neutrons, 107 for directly ionizing cosmic rays and 10 for total γ-rays. Chinese hamster V79 cells were cultured for 10 months in both RRE and LRE. At the end of this period, all the cultures were kept in RRE for another 6 months. Changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT; glutathione peroxidase, GPX) and spontaneous mutation frequency at the hypoxanthine–guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (hprt) locus were investigated. The results obtained suggest that environmental radiation might act as a trigger of defence mechanisms in V79 cells, specifically those in reference conditions, showing a higher degree of defence against endogenous damage as compared to cells grown in a very low-radiation environment. Our findings corroborate the hypothesis that environmental radiation contributes to the development of defence mechanisms in today living organisms/systems. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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