Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans germline cells following heavy-ion microbeam irradiation

Tomoko Sugimoto, Kumiko Dazai, Tetsuya Sakashita, Tomoo Funayama, Seiichi Wada, Nobuyuki Hamada, Takehiko Kakizaki, Yasuhiko Kobayashi, Atsushi Higashitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate positional effects of radiation with an energetic heavy-ion microbeam on germline cells using an experimental model metazoan Caenorhabditis elegans. Materials and methods: The germline cells were irradiated with raster-scanned broad beam or collimated microbeam of 220 MeV 12C 5+ particles delivered from the azimuthally varying field (AVF) cyclotron, and subsequently observed for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Results: Whole-body irradiation with the broad beam at the L4 larval stage arrested germ cell proliferation. When the tip region of the gonad arm was irradiated locally with the microbeam at the L4 stage, the same arrest was observed. When the microbeams were used to irradiate the pachytene region of the gonad arm, at a young gravid stage, radiation-induced apoptosis occurred in the gonad. In contrast, arrest and apoptosis were not induced in the non-irradiated neighboring region or the opposite gonad. Similar results were confirmed in the c-abl-1 (mammalian ortholog of cellular counterpart of Abelson murine leukemia virus) mutant that is hypersensitive to radiation-induced apoptosis. Conclusion: These results indicate that the microbeam irradiation is useful in characterizing tissue-specific, local biological response to radiation in organisms. DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were observed in locally irradiated regions, but there was little, if any, 'bystander effect' in the nematode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan


  • Bystander effect
  • Germline cells
  • Heavy-ion particles
  • Microbeam
  • Pachytene checkpoint apoptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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