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Effect of ionizing radiation at low dose on transgenerational carcinogenesis by epigenetic regulation


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of ionizing radiation (IR) exposure of parents on carcinogenesis of the next generation focusing on the epigenetic perspective to clarify the relationship between radiation dose and carcinogenesis in F1 generation SD rats. F1 generations from pregnant rats (F0) who were exposed to gamma rays were divided into three groups according to the dose of radiation: 10 rad, 30 rad, and untreated. They were intraperitoneally injected with 50 mg/kg of diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Carcinogenesis was analyzed by examining expression levels of tumor suppressor genes (TSG) and other related genes by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP). DNA methylation in liver tissues was evaluated to discern epigenetic regulation of transgenerational carcinogenesis vulnerability following IR exposure. Numerous studies have proved that transcriptional inactivation due to hypermethylation of TSG preceded carcinogenesis. Results of this study revealed hypermethylation of tumor suppressor gene SOCS1 in group treated with 30 rad. In addition, genes related to DNA damage response pathway (GSTP1, ATM, DGKA, PARP1, and SIRT6) were epigenetically inactivated in all DEN treated groups. In the case of proto-oncogene c-Myc, DNA hypermethylation was identified in the group with low dose of IR (10 rad). Results of this study indicated that each TSG had different radiation threshold level (dose-independent way) and DEN treatment could affect DNA methylation profile irrelevant of ionizing radiation dose.


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This study was supported by grants from Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea to the National Research Foundation of Korea (C1008955-01-03) and by Grant from Kangwon National University (520150281).

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Li, L., Kim, JH., Park, HT. et al. Effect of ionizing radiation at low dose on transgenerational carcinogenesis by epigenetic regulation. Lab Anim Res 33, 92–97 (2017).

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