In 1957/58 the British Government conducted a series of nuclear tests in the mid-Pacific codenamed Operation Grapple, which involved several naval vessels from Britain and New Zealand. Two New Zealand frigates with 551 personnel onboard were stationed at various distances between 20 and 150 nautical miles from ground zero. In the present study we applied the cytomolecular technique mFISH (multicolour fluorescent in situ hybridisation) to investigate a potential link between chromosome abnormalities and possible past radiation exposure in New Zealand nuclear test veterans who participated in Operation Grapple. Compared to age matched controls, the veterans showed significantly higher (P < 0.0001) frequencies of chromosomal abnormalities (275 translocations and 12 dicentrics in 9,360 cells vs. 96 translocations and 1 dicentric in 9,548 cells in the controls), in addition to a significant excess of CCRs (complex chromosomal rearrangements) in the veterans. A Kolmogorov-Smirnoff test showed that the distributions of translocations for the two groups were significantly different.

Awa AA, Neel JV: Cytogenetic ‘rogue’ cells: What is their frequency, origin and evolutionary significance? Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83:1021–1025 (1986).
Bhatti P, Preston DL, Doody MM, Hauptmann M, Kampa D, et al: Retrospective biodosimetry among United States radiologic technologists. Radiat Res 167:727–734 (2007).
Boei JJWA, Vermuelen S, Fomina J, Natarajan AT: Detection of incomplete exchanges and interstitial fragments in X-irradiated human lymphocytes using a telomeric PNA probe. Int J Radiat Biol 73:599–603 (1998).
Braselmann H, Kulka U, Baumgartner A, Eder C, Mueller I, et al: SKY and FISH analysis of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations: A comparison of whole and partial genome analysis. Mutat Res 578:124–133 (2005).
Bross I, Bross NS: Do atomic veterans have excess cancer? New results correcting for the healthy soldier bias. Am J Epidemiol 126:1042–1050 (1987).
Buckton KE: Chromosome aberrations in patients treated with X-irradiation for ankylosing spondylitis, in Ishihara T, Sasaki MS (eds): Radiation-induced Chromosome Damage in Man, pp 491–511 (Alan R Liss, New York 1983).
Chudoba I, Plesch A, Lorch T, Lemke J, Claussen U, Senger G: High resolution multi-colour banding: a new technique for refined FISH analysis of human chromosomes. Cytogenet Cell Genet 84:156–160 (1999).
Crawford J: The Involvement of the Royal New Zealand Navy in the British Nuclear Testing Orogrammes of 1957 and 1958. Wellington: Ministry of Defense Report (1989).
Dalager NA, Kang HK, Mahan CM: Cancer mortality among the highest exposed US atmospheric nuclear test participants. J Environ Med 42:798–805 (2000).
Edwards AA, Lindholm C, Darroudi F, Stephan G, Romm H, et al: Review of translocations detected by FISH for retrospective biological dosimetry applications. Radiat Prot Dos 113:396–402 (2005).
Fomina J, Darroudi F, Boei JJWA, Natarajan AT: Discrimination between complete and incomplete chromosome exchanges in X-irradiated human lymphocytes using FISH with pan-centromeric and chromosome specific DNA probes in combination with telomeric PNA probe. Int J Radiat Biol 76:807–813 (2000).
Fomina J, Darroudi F, Natarajan AT: Accurate detection of true incomplete exchanges in human lymphocytes exposed to neutron radiation using chromosome painting in combination with a telomeric probe. Int J Radiat Biol 77:1175–1183 (2001).
Godekmerdan A, Ozden M, Ayar A, Gursu MF, Ozan AT, et al: Diminished cellular and humoral immunity in workers occupationally exposed to low levels of ionizing radiation. Arch Med Res 35:324–328 (2004).
Guerrero-Carbajal YC, Moquet JE, Edwards AA, Lloyd DC: The persistence of FISH translocations for retrospective biological dosimetry after simulated whole or partial body irradiation. Rad Prot Dos 76:159–168 (1998).
Hande MP, Azizova TV, Geard CR, Burak LE, Mitchell CR, et al: Past exposure to densely ionizing radiation leaves a unique permanent signature in the genome. Am J Hum Genet 72:1162–1170 (2003).
IAEA: Cytogenetic Analysis for Radiation Dose Assessment. A Manual. Technical Report No. 405, (International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA Vienna 2001).
Kodama Y, Nakano M, Ohtaki K, Delongchamp R, Awa AA, et al: Estimation of minimal size of translocated chromosome segments detectable by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Int J Radiat Biol 71:35–39 (1997).
Kodama Y, Pawel D, Nakamura N, Preston D, Honda T, et al: Stable chromosome aberrations in atomic bomb survivors: Results from 25 years of investigation. Radiat Res 156:337–346 (2001).
Kusunoki Y, Hayashi T: Long-lasting alterations of the immune system by ionizing radiation exposure: Implications for disease development among atomic bomb survivors. Int J Radiat Biol 84:1–14 (2008).
Lazutka JR: Chromosome aberrations and rogue cells in lymphocytes of Chernobyl clean-up workers. Mutat Res 350:315–329 (1996).
Lindholm C, Romm H, Stephan G, Schmid E, Moquet J, et al: Intercomparison of translocation and dicentric frequencies between laboratories in a follow-up of the radiological accident in Estonia. Int J Radiat Biol 78:883–890 (2002).
Lucas JN, Poggensee M, Straume T: Translocations between two specific human chromosomes detected by three-color ‘chromosome painting’. Cytogenet Cell Genet 62:11–12 (1993).
McEwan AC: Cancers in Jay Force and Christmas Island Veterans. Radiation Protection News and Notes, New Zealand National Radiation Laboratory. 1:12–15 (1988).
M’Kacher R, Bennaceur-Griscelli A, Girinsky T, Koscielny S, Delhommeau F, et al: Telomere shortening and associated chromosomal instability in peripheral blood lymphocytes of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma prior to any treatment are predictive of second cancers. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 68:465–471 (2007).
Muirhead CR, Bingham D, Haylock RGE, O’Hagan JA, Goodill AA: Mortality and Cancer Incidence 1952–1998 in UK Participants in the UK Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Tests and Experimental Programmes (Ministry of Defense, United Kingdom 2003).
Mustonen R, Lindholm C, Tawn EJ, Sabatier L, Salomaa S: The incidence of cytogenetically abnormal rogue cells in peripheral blood. Int J Radiat Biol 74:781–785 (1998).
Nakano M, Kodama Y, Ohtaki K, Itoh M, Delongchamp R, et al: Detection of stable chromosome aberrations by FISH in A-bomb survivors: comparison with previous solid Giemsa staining data on the same 230 individuals. Int J Radiat Biol 77:971–977 (2001).
Pearce N: Mortality and Cancer Incidence in New Zealand Participants in United Kingdom Weapons Tests in the Pacific. Wellington: Department of Community Health (1990).
Pearce N, Prior I, Methven D, Culling C, Marshall S, et al: Follow-up of New Zealand participants in British nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific. Brit Med J 300:1161–1166 (1990).
Pouzoulet F, Roch-Lefèvre S, Giraudet AL, Vaurijoux A, Voisin P, et al: Monitoring translocations by M-FISH and three-color FISH painting techniques: a study of two radiotherapy patients. J Radiat Res 48:425–434 (2007).
Rabbitt Roff S: Mortality and morbidity in members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association and the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association. Medicine, Conflict, and Survival 15:1–51 (1999).
Rowland RE, Podd JV, Wahab MA: New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Study – a Pilot Project (Sister Chromatid Exchange). Report for the New Zealand War Pensions Medical Research Trust Board, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Wellington, New Zealand (2005).
Rowland RE, Edwards LA, Podd JV: Elevated sister chromatid exchange frequencies in New Zealand Vietnam War veterans. Cytogenet Genome Res 116:248–251 (2007).
Roy L, Gregoire E, Durand V, Buard V, Delbos M, et al: Study of the tools available in biological dosimetry to estimate the dose in cases of accidental complex overexposure to ionizing radiation: The Lilo accident. Int J Radiat Biol 82:39–48 (2006).
Savage JRK, Simpson PJ : FISH ‘painting’ patterns resulting from complex exchanges. Mutat Res 312:51–60 (1994).
Slozina N, Neronova E, Kharchenko T, Nikiforov A: Increased level of chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes of Chernobyl liquidators 6–10 years after the accident. Mutat Res 379:121–125 (1997).
Tucker JD, Morgan WF, Awa AA, Bauchinger M, Blakey D, et al: A proposed system for scoring structural aberrations detected by chromosomal painting. Cytogenet Cell Genet 68:211–221 (1995).
Violot D, M’Kacher R, Adjadj E, Dossou J, de Vathaire F, Parmentier C: Evidence of increased chromosomal abnormalities in French Polynesian thyroid cancer patients. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 32:174–179 (2005).
Whitehouse CA, Edwards AA, Tawn EJ, Stephan G, Oestreicher U, et al: Translocation yields in peripheral blood lymphocytes from control populations. Int J Radiat Biol 81:139–145 (2005).
Wu H, George K, Yang TC: Estimate of true incomplete exchanges using fluorescence in situ hybridization with telomere probes. Int J Radiat Biol 73:521–527 (1998).
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.