Radiation-induced carcinogenesis:Studies using human epithelial cell lines
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It has proved difficult to develop suitable models to study radiation-induced carcinogenesis by using human epithelial cells. However, immortalised human epithelial cell lines have proved useful. Unirradiated cells from the human keratinocyte cell line (HPV-G) and the human embryonic lung cell line (L132) were found to be tumourigenic in T-cell-deficient mice; thus, they are not suitable for transformation studies. Human urothelial cell lines (SV-HUC-1, NT11, BC16) and the human thyroid epithelial cell line (HTori-3) were nontumourigenic. The urothelial cell lines were refractory to radiation-induced carcinogenesis, and only one small tumour was observed in 57 mice that received irradiated cells. Whereas tumours were not produced following irradiation of these urothelial cells, changes in anchorage-independent growth were observed after a single dose of 8 Gy gamma-irradiation but not after 2 or 4 Gy. Irradiation of the human thyroid epithelial cell line (HTori-3) in vitro resulted in tumour formation. Passaging of the cells in vitro before injection did not seem to be critical. Some of the cell lines derived from the primary thyroid tumours exhibited p53 mutations in exons 5, 6, 7, and 8, as detected by single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Thus, the human thyroid epithelial cell line (HTori-3) looks promising as a model for investigating the molecular events in radiation-induced carcinogenesis.
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