Metabolomic response of human skin tissue to low dose ionizing radiation

Ze Ping Hu, Young Mo Kim, Marianne B. Sowa, R. Joe Robinson, Xiaoli Gao, Thomas O. Metz, William F. Morgan, Qibin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Understanding how human organs respond to ionizing radiation (IR) at a systems biology level and identifying biomarkers for IR exposure at low doses can help provide a scientific basis for establishing radiation protection standards. Little is known regarding the physiological responses to low dose IR at the metabolite level, which represents the end-point of biochemical processes inside cells. Using a full thickness human skin tissue model and GC-MS-based metabolomic analysis, we examined the metabolic perturbations at three time points (3, 24 and 48 h) after exposure to 3, 10 and 200 cGy of X-rays. PLS-DA score plots revealed dose- and time-dependent clustering between sham and irradiated groups. Importantly, delayed metabolic responses were observed at low dose IR. When compared with the high dose at 200 cGy, a comparable number of significantly changed metabolites were detected 48 h after exposure to low doses (3 and 10 cGy) of irradiation. Biochemical pathway analysis showed perturbations to DNA/RNA damage and repair, lipid and energy metabolisms, even at low doses of IR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1979-1986
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular BioSystems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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