Biologic dosimetry of bone marrow: Induction of micronuclei in reticulocytes after exposure to 32P and 90Y

M. Lenarczyk, S. M. Goddu, D. V. Rao, R. W. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Bone marrow is the dose-limiting organ in targeted radionuclide therapy. Hence, determination of the absorbed dose to bone marrow from incorporated radionuclides is a critical element in treatment planning. This study investigated the potential of the micronucleus assay in peripheral blood reticulocytes (MnRETs) as an in vivo biologic dosimeter for bone marrow. Methods: After intravenous administration of 32P-orthophosphate or 90Y-citrate in Swiss Webster mice, DNA damage induced in bone marrow erythroblastoid cells was measured by subsequent scoring of MnRETs in peripheral blood. The response to exponentially decreasing dose rates was calibrated by irradiating animals with external 137Cs-γ-rays. The γ-ray dose rate was decreased exponentially, with the dose-rate decrease half-time corresponding to the effective clearance half-time (Te) of the radioactivity from the femoral bone (Te = 64 h for 90Y-citrate and Te = 255 h for 32P-orthophosphate). Results: The maximum MnRETs frequency occurred on the second and third day after injection of 90Y-citrate and 32P-orthophosphate, respectively. The same pattern was observed for exponentially decreasing dose rates of 137Cs-γ-rays. For each type of exposure, the maximum MnRETs frequency increased in a dose-dependent manner. Using the calibrated dosimeter, the initial dose rates to the marrow per unit of injected activity were 0.0020 cGy/h/kBq and 0.0026 cGy/h/kBq for 32P-orthophosphate and 90Y-citrate, respectively. Conclusion: Micronuclei in peripheral blood reticulocytes can be used as a noninvasive biologic dosimeter for measuring absorbed dose rate and absorbed dose to bone marrow from incorporated radionuclides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Biologic dosimetry
  • Mice
  • Micronuclei
  • P
  • Radionuclides
  • Reticulocytes
  • Y


Dive into the research topics of 'Biologic dosimetry of bone marrow: Induction of micronuclei in reticulocytes after exposure to 32P and 90Y'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this