Residual Telomerase Activity: A Marker of Cell Survival after Exposure to Gamma Radiation in Vitro

Mario Turriziani, Anna Maria Di Giacomo, Anna Cardillo, Francesco Torino, Lucio Tentori, Paola Nasuti, Maria Chiara Massara, Mario Roselli, Enzo Bonmassar, Liana De Vecchis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Residual telomerase activity (TA) could be used as a marker of malignant or normal cell survival after exposure to cytotoxic agents. Therefore TA after treatment with ionizing radiation was used in a radiosensitivity assay. Materials and Methods: Radiosensitive MOLT-4 and relatively radioresistant Jurkat leukemia cells of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) were irradiated with 5-160 Gy. Cell count, MTT assay and telomerase activity were evaluated on day 3 and clonogenic assay on day 10. Results: In Jurkat cells, irradiation inhibited tumor growth and total TA per culture (TA/culture), but up-regulated TA per viable cell (TA/cell). TA/culture and TA/cell were profoundly depressed by irradiation of MOLT-4 or phytohemagglutinin-activated MNC. Conclusion: Susceptibility of normal or neoplastic cells to high-dose radiation can be monitored by evaluating residual TA/culture. In some cases, however, difficulties in the interpretation of the results could stem from radiation-induced increase of TA/cell, as observed for the Jurkat cell line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4561-4569
Number of pages9
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6 C
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • Lymphocytes
  • Oncology
  • Radiation
  • Radiosensitivity
  • Telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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