Sensitivity of human prostatic carcinoma cell lines to low dose rate radiation exposure

Theodore L. Deweese, Jennifer M. Shipman, Larry E. Dillehay, William G. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Purpose: Low dose rate radioemitters, such as 125I, 103Pd, and 89Sr, have been used both for local and systemic treatment of prostate cancer. Most normal cells exposed to ionizing radiation characteristically activate cell cycle checkpoints, resulting in cell cycle arrest at the G1/S and G2/M transition points. Cancer cell are typically quite sensitive to radiation killing late in the G2 phase of the replicative cell cycle. Furthermore, most cancer cells accumulating at the G2/M transition point as a result of low dose rate radiation exposure appear to become sensitive to further low dose rate irradiation. For this reason, protracted exposure of cancer cells to low dose rate radiation has been proposed to result in increased cancer cell killing as compared with brief exposures of cancer cells to high dose rate radiation. Since many human prostatic carcinomas contain somatic genome alterations targeting genes which affect the cell cycle and radiation-associated cell cycle checkpoints, we evaluated the effect of low dose rate radiation exposure on the cell cycle and on clonogenic survival for various human prostatic carcinoma cell lines. Materials and Methods: Human prostatic carcinoma cells from the LNCaP, DU 145, PC-3, PPC-1, and TSU-Pr1 cell lines were exposed to low dose rate (0.25 Gy/hour) or high dose rate (60 Gy/hour) radiation in vitro and then assessed for radiation cyclototoxicty by clonogenic survival assay. Cell cycle perturbations following protracted exposure to low dose rate radiation were evaluated using flow cytometry. Results: For LNCaP cells, low dose rate radiation exposure resulted in an accumulation of cells at both the G1/S and the G2/M cell cycle transition points. For DU 145, PC-3, PPC-1, and TSU-Pr1 cells, treatment with low dose rate radiation triggered G2/M cell cycle arrest, but not G1/S arrest. Unexpectedly, the cell cycle redistribution pattern phenotypes observed, G1/S and G2/M cell cycle arrest versus G2/M arrest alone, appeared to have little effect on low dose rate radiation survival. Furthermore, while PC-3, PPC-1, and TSU-Pr1 cells exhibited increased cytotoxic sensitivity to low dose rate versus fractionated high dose rate radiation treatment, DU 145 and LNCaP cells did not. Conclusions: Radiation-associated perturbations in replicative cell cycle progression were not dominant determinants of low dose rate radiation killing efficacy in human prostate cancer cell lines in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-598
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Cell cycle checkpoints
  • Low dose rate radiation
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity of human prostatic carcinoma cell lines to low dose rate radiation exposure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this