Prediction of radiosensitivity in human bladder cell lines using nuclear chromatin phenotype.

Nor F Rajab, Declan McKenna, Jim Diamond, Kate Williamson, Peter W Hamilton, VJ McKelvey-Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUNDNuclear texture analysis measures phenotypic changes in chromatin distribution within a cell nucleus, while the alkaline Comet assay is a sensitive method for measuring the extent of DNA breakage in individual cells. The authors aim to use both methods to provide information about the sensitivity of cells to ionizing radiation.METHODSThe alkaline Comet assay was performed on six human bladder carcinoma cell lines and one human urothelial cell line exposed to gamma-radiation doses from 0 to 10 Gy. Nuclear chromatin texture analysis of 40 features was then performed in the same cell lines exposed to 0, 2, and 6 Gy to explore if nuclear phenotype was related to radiation sensitivity.RESULTSComet assay results demonstrated that the cell lines exhibited different levels of radiosensitivity and could be divided into a radiosensitive and a radioresistant group at >6 Gy. Using stepwise discriminant analysis, a subset of important nuclear texture features that best discriminated between sensitive and resistant cell lines were identified A classification function, defined using these features, correctly classified 81.75% of all cells into their radiosensitive or radioresistant groups based on their pretreatment chromatin phenotype. Posttreatment chromatin changes also varied between cell lines, with sensitive cell lines showing a relaxed chromatin conformation following radiation, whereas resistant cell lines exhibited chromatin condensation.CONCLUSIONSThe authors conclude that the alkaline Comet assay and nuclear texture methodologies may prove to be valuable aids in predicting the response of tumor cells to radiotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-85
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2006


  • nuclear texture
  • chromatin morphology
  • radiosensitivity
  • comet assay
  • bladder


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