Influence of cell position relative to planar alpha-particle sources on survival and preneoplastic transformation of primary rat tracheal epithelial cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rat tracheal epithelial cells exposed directly on planar 210Po sources exhibited exponential cell killing; however, no significant increase in induction of preneoplastic transformation was observed over a range of alpha-particle fluences (0.017-0.050 micron-2). In contrast, up to 10-fold increases in frequencies of preneoplastic transformants, above control levels, were observed after exposure of rat tracheal epithelial cells to similar alpha-particle fluences on 238Pu and 241Am sources. Two alternative hypotheses are evaluated as an explanation for this apparent difference in the biological effect of alpha particles emitted from different sources: (a) possible interactions between effects produced by alpha particles and by low-energy photons, which occur with 238Pu and 241Am but not with 210Po; and (b) the influence of spatial relationships between exposed cells and the surface of the planar source. The data suggest that cell-to-source spatial relationships affect both survival and transformation markedly.

published proceedings

  • Radiat Res

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Terzaghi-Howe, M., Ford, J. R., & Turner, J. E.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Terzaghi-Howe, M||Ford, JR||Turner, JE

publication date

  • April 1996