Detection of DNA double-strand breaks using γh2AX after MRI exposure at 3 Tesla: An in vitro study




To evaluate the effects of the static magnetic field and typical imaging sequences of a high-field magnetic resonance scanner (3 Tesla) on the induction of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in two different human cell lines.

Materials and Methods

Human promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60) and human acute myeloid leukemia cells (KG-1a) were exposed to the static magnetic field alone and to turbo spin-echo (TSE) and gradient-echo (GE) sequences. Flow cytometry was used to quantify γH2AX (serine 139 phosphorylated form of histone H2AX) expression of antibody-stained cells as a marker for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) DSBs one hour and 24 hours after magnetic field exposure. X-ray–treated cells were used as positive control.


Neither exposure to the static magnetic field alone nor to the applied imaging sequences showed significant differences in γH2AX expression between exposed and sham-exposed cells. X-ray–treated cells as positive control showed a significant increase in γH2AX expression.


The static magnetic field alone and MRI sequences at 3 Tesla have no effect on the induction of DSBs in HL-60 and KG-1a cells. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2007;26:1308–1314. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.