Induction of an apoptotic cell death was studied in a mouse T-cell hybridoma. Apoptosis was induced in these cells following exposure to dexamethasone, X-radiation, 43°C heat shock, A254 light, and hydrogen peroxide. In 5-Gy-exposed cells, a radiation-induced G2 phase cell cycle progression block was maximum by 8 h. The cells began to escape this progression block by 10 h. Nuclear DNA fragmentation and uptake of the vital dye trypan blue began at 12 and 14 h, respectively, and were complete by 28 h. X-radiation-induced cell death was diminished when cells were irradiated in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide, indicating that cell death was induced by oxidative cell damage. Substitution of nuclear DNA with bromodeoxyuridine enhanced death in cells exposed to either X-radiation or A310 light, indicating that apoptosis could be induced by DNA damage. The results are consistent with radiation-induced apoptosis being stimulated by oxidative DNA damage. DNA damage stimulates a long-lived signal which controls the expression of apoptosis. Apoptosis is expressed in the G1 phase of the cell cycle subsequent to the cell irradiation.

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