Non-targeted effects of ionising radiation—Implications for low dose risk

Munira Kadhim, Sisko Salomaa, Eric Wright, Guido Hildebrandt, Oleg V. Belyakov, Kevin M. Prise, Mark P. Little

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Non-DNA targeted effects of ionising radiation, which include genomic instability, and a variety of bystander effects including abscopal effects and bystander mediated adaptive response, have raised concerns about the magnitude of low-dose radiation risk. Genomic instability, bystander effects and adaptive responses are powered by fundamental, but not clearly understood systems that maintain tissue homeostasis. Despite excellent research in this field by various groups, there are still gaps in our understanding of the likely mechanisms associated with non-DNA targeted effects, particularly with respect to systemic (human health) consequences at low and intermediate doses of ionising radiation. Other outstanding questions include links between the different non-targeted responses and the variations in response observed between individuals and cell lines, possibly a function of genetic background. Furthermore, it is still not known what the initial target and early interactions in cells are that give rise to non-targeted responses in neighbouring or descendant cells. This paper provides a commentary on the current state of the field as a result of the non-targeted effects of ionising radiation (NOTE) Integrated Project funded by the European Union. Here we critically examine the evidence for non-targeted effects, discuss apparently contradictory results and consider implications for low-dose radiation health effects.
    © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMutation Research - Reviews
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)84–98
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Ionising radiation
    • Low dose
    • Non-targeted effects
    • Non-cancer disease
    • Health risk


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