The vascular endothelial cell response following exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis


  • Charlotte Rombouts

Institutes & Expert groups

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Humans can be exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation during medical diagnostic procedures and in their occupation. Also, nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl and the more recent event in Fukushima, may form a source of radiation exposure. Traditionally, cancer is considered the main health issue associated with exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation. Epidemiological studies suggest that non-cancer diseases, and in particular cardiovascular diseases, may be of concern as well. The endothelium, which forms the inner layer of the cardiovascular system, is considered as a critical target in the development of cardiovascular diseases. In this PhD, the endothelial cell response following exposure to acute low X-ray doses and chronic low γ-ray doses was investigated. Acute low dose radiation exposure induced DNA damage which seemed to be fully repaired, without a significant arrest of cell cycle progression, but with the induction of apoptosis. Regarding chronic low dose radiation exposure, premature senescence was observed, in which IGFBP5 signaling seems to play an important role. Overall, our findings suggest a rather subtle response to be induced in endothelial cells following low dose radiation exposure.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
Place of PublicationGent, Belgium
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
Print ISBNs978-90-5989-692-5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • ionizing radiation, health effects, low dose exposure, cardiovascular diseases, endothelial cells

ID: 218971