X-ray microbeams have been used to explore radiobiological effects induced by targeting a specific site in living systems. Synchrotron radiation from the Photon Factory, Japan, with high brilliance and highly parallel directionality is a source suitable for delivering a particular beam size or shape, which can be changed according to target morphology by using a simple metal slit system (beam size from 5 μm to several millimeters). Studies have examined the non-targeted effects, called bystander cellular responses
, which are thought to be fundamental mechanisms of low-dose or low-dose-rate effects in practical radiation risk research. Narrow microbeams several tens of micrometers or less in their size targeted both the cell nucleus and the cytoplasm. Our method combined with live-cell imaging techniques has challenged the traditional radiobiological dogma that DNA damage is the only major cause of radiation-induced genetic alterations and is gradually revealing the role of organelles, such as mitochondria, in these biological effects. Furthermore, three-dimensionally cultured cell systems have been used as microbeam targets to mimic organs. Combining the spatial fractionation of X-ray microbeams and a unique ex vivo testes organ culture technique revealed that the tissue-sparing effect was induced in response to the non-uniform radiation fields. Spatially fractionated X-ray beams may be a promising tool in clinical radiation therapy.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited