Factors affecting ultraviolet-A photon emission from β-irradiated human keratinocyte cells

Le M, Mothersill CE, Seymour CB, Ahmad SB, Armstrong A, Rainbow AJ, McNeill FE; Phys Med Biol. 2015 Aug 21;60(16):6371-89.


The luminescence intensity of 340▒5 nm photons emitted from HaCaT (human keratinocyte) cells was investigated using a single-photon-counting system during cellular exposure to (90)Y β-particles. Multiple factors were assessed to determine their influence upon the quantity and pattern of photon emission from β-irradiated cells. Exposure of 1 x 10(4) cells/5 mL to 703 ÁCi resulted in maximum UVA photoemission at 44.8 x 10(3)▒2.5 x 10(3) counts per second (cps) from live HaCaT cells (background: 1-5 cps); a 16-fold increase above cell-free controls. Significant biophoton emission was achieved only upon stimulation and was also dependent upon presence of cells. UVA luminescence was measured for (90)Y activities 14 to 703 μCi where a positive relationship between photoemission and (90)Y activity was observed. Irradiation of live HaCaT cells plated at various densities produced a distinct pattern of emission whereby luminescence increased up to a maximum at 1 x 10(4) cells/5 mL and thereafter decreased. However, this result was not observed in the dead cell population. Both live and dead HaCaT cells were irradiated and were found to demonstrate different rates of photon emission at low β activities ( 400 μCi). Dead cells exhibited greater photon emission rates than live cells which may be attributable to metabolic processes taking place to modulate the photoemissive effect. The results indicate that photon emission from HaCaT cells is perturbed by external stimulation, is dependent upon the activity of radiation delivered, the density of irradiated cells, and cell viability. It is postulated that biophoton emission may be modulated by a biological or metabolic process.

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