ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell pool in individuals chronically exposed to radiation over a long-term period

Kotikova AI1,2, Blinova EA1,2, Akleyev AV1,2
About authors

1 Ural Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Chelyabinsk, Russia

2 Chelyabinsk State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Alisa I. Kotikova
Vorovskogo, 68, korp. А, Chelyabinsk, Russia, 454141; moc.liamg@asilaavokitok

About paper

Funding: the study was carried out within the framework of the State assignment “Human Cell-Mediated Immunity During Realization of Chronic Radiation Exposure Late Effects” (code 27.002.20.800).

Author contribution: Kotikova AI — method design, laboratory tests, statistical analysis, manuscript writing; Blinova ЕА — method design, manuscript writing; Akleyev AV — study concept, scientific management.

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine (protocol № 3 dated July 20, 2021). All the subjects enrolled in the studies conducted by Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Radiobiology of Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine submitted the informed consent.

Received: 2021-07-21 Accepted: 2021-08-10 Published online: 2021-09-03
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Changes in the peripheral blood cellular composition were observed in the long term period in the residents of the Techa riverside villages chronically exposed to radiation, which may be the consequence of structural and functional disorders in the pool of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and progenitor cells. Therefore, the study was aimed to quantify peripheral blood CD34+ cell pool in individuals chronically exposed to radiation over a long-term period. Sixty years after the onset of exposure, a total of 153 individuals were examined, who were divided into four groups: individuals exposed in utero and postnatally (the average postnatal absorbed dose was 570 mGy); individuals exposed only postnatally (the average postnatal absorbed dose was 790 mGy), and two comparison groups, in which the average postnatal absorbed dose to red bone marrow did not exceed 70 mGy. Absolute and relative peripheral blood CD34+ cell counts in chronically exposed individuals were assessed by flow cytometry. No changes in CD34+ cell counts compared to comparison group were revealed in the group of individuals exposed in utero and postnatally; no age-related changes were registered as well. However, a significant decline in absolute HSC and progenitor cell counts with increased absorbed dose to red bone marrow was observed. In the group of individuals exposed only postnatally, there was a significant increase in peripheral blood CD34+ cell counts compared to comparison group (p = 0.004 for absolute cell count; p = 0.009 for relative cell count), dose-dependent increase in peripheral blood HSC and precursor cell counts (p = 0.02 for absolute cell count; p = 0.03 for relative cell count), along with age-related decline in these cells’ counts (р = 0.02 for absolute cell count; p = 0.04 for relative cell count).

Keywords: flow cytometry, hematopoietic stem cells, chronic exposure, late effects, peripheral blood

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