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Holdenrieder, Stefan; Stief, Jutta; Bergner, Albrecht; Gamarra, Fernando; Mitlewski, Anke; Nagel, Dorothea; Huber, Rudolf M. and Stieber, Petra (2004): Nucleosomes indicate the in vitro radiosensitivity of irradiated bronchoepithelial and lung cancer cells. In: Tumor Biology, No. 5-6: pp. 321-326 [PDF, 135kB]


Nucleosomes, which are typical cell death products, are elevated in the serum of cancer patients and are known to rapidly increase during radiotherapy. As both normal and malignant cells are damaged by irradiation, we investigated to which extent both cell types contribute to the release of nucleosomes. We cultured monolayers of normal bronchoepithelial lung cells (BEAS-2B, n = 18) and epithelial lung cancer cells (EPLC, n = 18), exposed them to various radiation doses (0, 10 and 30 Gy) and observed them for 5 days. Culture medium was changed every 24 h. Subsequently, nucleosomes were determined in the supernatant by the Cell Death Detection-ELISA(plus) ( Roche Diagnostics). Additionally, the cell number was estimated after harvesting the cells in a second preparation. After 5 days, the cell number of BEAS-2B cultures in the irradiated groups (10 Gy: median 0.03 x 10(6) cells/culture, range 0.02-0.08 x 10(6) cells/culture; 30 Gy: median 0.08 x 10(6) cells/culture, range 0.02-0.14 x 10(6) cells/culture) decreased significantly (10 Gy: p = 0.005; 30 Gy p = 0.005; Wilcoxon test) compared to the non-irradiated control group (median 4.81 x 10(6) cells/culture, range 1.50-9.54 x 10(6) cells/culture). Consistently, nucleosomes remained low in the supernatant of nonirradiated BEAS-2B. However, at 10 Gy, BEAS-2B showed a considerably increasing release of nucleosomes, with a maximum at 72 h ( before irradiation: 0.24 x 10(3) arbitrary units, AU, range 0.13-4.09 x 10(3) AU, and after 72 h: 1.94 x 10(3) AU, range 0.11-5.70 x 10(3) AU). At 30 Gy, the release was even stronger, reaching the maximum earlier (at 48 h, 11.09 x 10(3) AU, range 6.89-18.28 x 10(3) AU). In non-irradiated EPLC, nucleosomes constantly increased slightly. At 10 Gy, we observed a considerably higher release of nucleosomes in EPLC, with a maximum at 72 h (before irradiation: 2.79 x 10(3) AU, range 2.42-3.80 x 10(3) AU, and after 72 h: 7.16 x 10(3) AU, range 4.30-16.20 x 10(3) AU), which was more than 3.5 times higher than in BEAS-2B. At 30 Gy, the maximum (6.22 x 10(3) AU, range 5.13-9.71 x 10(3) AU) was observed already after 24 h. These results indicate that normal bronchoepithelial and malignant lung cancer cells contribute to the release of nucleosomes during irradiation in a dose-and time-dependent manner with cancer cells having a stronger impact at low doses. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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