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Increase in the Th1-Cell-Based Immune Response in Healthy Workers Exposed to Low-Dose Radiation - Immune System Status of Radiology Staff

  • Karimi, Gholamreza (Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmacy School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Balali-Mood, Mahdi (Medical Toxicology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Alamdaran, Seyed-Ali (Radiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Badie-Bostan, Hassan (Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmacy School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Mohammadi, Elaheh (Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmacy School, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Ghorani-Azam, Adel (Medical Toxicology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Sadeghi, Mahmood (Medical Toxicology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Riahi-Zanjani, Bamdad (Medical Toxicology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences)
  • Received : 2017.05.04
  • Accepted : 2017.06.13
  • Published : 2017.06.30

Abstract

Objectives: Radiation is one of the most important sources of free radical (such as reactive oxygen species) production, which plays an essential role in the etiology of over hundred diseases. The aim of the study was to investigate some immune parameters and hematological indices in healthy workers of the Radiology Department, University Hospital of Mashhad, Iran. Methods: The study was performed on 50 healthy workers: 30 radiology staff as the case group and 20 laboratory workers as the control group. The radiation dose received by the radiology staff participating in the study was less than the annual maximum permissible level, 50 millisievert. Hematological parameters, lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production were studied in both groups. Results: Among healthy radiology workers, the hematological indices did not differ statistically; however, their proliferation indices and $IFN-{\gamma}$ levels showed significant increases in parallel with decreases in the IL-4 levels as compared to controls. The immune system of workers exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation was found to be shifted from a Type 2 to a Type 1 response to promote cellular immunity. Conclusion: Based on our data, exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation may decrease the prevalence, frequency, and recurrence of various cancers and infectious diseases because of an increase in Th1-cell-based response, thus leading to more protection of the human body against tumor cells and foreign agents and possibly increased longevity. However, due to high rate of fluoroscopy use for interventional radiology, we suggest continuing research projects on radiation protection and hazards to prevent irreversible damage. As a recommendation, in future studies, radiology staff with a weakened immunity due to high radiation exposure should be considered as good choices to be treated using acupuncture techniques because acupuncture has been demonstrated to enhance the function and the number of immune cells.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

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