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    Effects of Chronic Low-Dose Radiation on Human Neural Progenitor Cells.
    Sci Rep 2016 Jan 22;6:20027. Epub 2016 Jan 22.
    Center for Environmental Risk Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan.
    The effects of chronic low-dose radiation on human health have not been well established. Recent studies have revealed that neural progenitor cells are present not only in the fetal brain but also in the adult brain. Since immature cells are generally more radiosensitive, here we investigated the effects of chronic low-dose radiation on cultured human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from embryonic stem cells. Radiation at low doses of 31, 124 and 496 mGy per 72 h was administered to hNPCs. The effects were estimated by gene expression profiling with microarray analysis as well as morphological analysis. Gene expression was dose-dependently changed by radiation. By thirty-one mGy of radiation, inflammatory pathways involving interferon signaling and cell junctions were altered. DNA repair and cell adhesion molecules were affected by 124 mGy of radiation while DNA synthesis, apoptosis, metabolism, and neural differentiation were all affected by 496 mGy of radiation. These in vitro results suggest that 496 mGy radiation affects the development of neuronal progenitor cells while altered gene expression was observed at a radiation dose lower than 100 mGy. This study would contribute to the elucidation of the clinical and subclinical phenotypes of impaired neuronal development induced by chronic low-dose radiation.

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