Keywords: cytogenetic bioindicators, low dose radiation, ionising radiation, chromosomal aberration, biomonitoring, low radiation, radiation cytogenetics, biomarkers
Cytogenetic bio-indicators and their implications in biomonitoring individuals exposed to chronic and low doses of ionising radiation
Radiation cytogenetics has benefited from recent developments in genetics and molecular biology to develop biomarkers and methods for radiation dose assessment. Regarding the widespread usage of nuclear technology in industry and medicine, only about 450 registered radiological and nuclear accidents throughout the world indicate that limited number of individuals were exposed to acute doses of ionising radiation during the last 50 years. On the other hand, a large population working in these facilities or residing in high natural radiation background areas are chronically exposed to long-term low-dose ionising radiation. However, most of the efforts are devoted to identifying a suitable biomarker and method for the assessments of exposure to acute doses of ionising radiation. In this mini-review, the current widely used methods and biomarkers are explained, with a special focus on translocations as suitable biomarkers for the biomonitoring of cumulative exposures in light of the recent advent of molecular cytogenetics technology.