Shiraishi, K., Shimura, T., Taga, M., Uematsu, N., Gondo, Y., Ohtaki, M., Kominami, R. and Niwa, O. Persistent Induction of Somatic Reversions of the Pink-Eyed Unstable Mutation in F1 Mice Born to Fathers Irradiated at the Spermatozoa Stage. Radiat. Res. 157, 661–667 (2002).
Untargeted mutation and delayed mutation are features of radiation-induced genomic instability and have been studied extensively in tissue culture cells. The mouse pink-eyed unstable (pun) mutation is due to an intragenic duplication of the pink-eyed dilution locus and frequently reverts back to the wild type in germ cells as well as in somatic cells. The reversion event can be detected in the retinal pigment epithelium as a cluster of pigmented cells (eye spot). We have investigated the reversion pum in F1 mice born to irradiated males. Spermatogonia-stage irradiation did not affect the frequency of the reversion in F1 mice. However, 6 Gy irradiation at the spermatozoa stage resulted in an approximately twofold increase in the number of eye spots in the retinal pigment epithelium of F1 mice. Somatic reversion occurred for the paternally derived pun alleles. In addition, the reversion also occurred for the maternally derived, unirradiated pun alleles at a frequency equal to that for the paternally derived allele. Detailed analyses of the number of pigmented cells per eye spot indicated that the frequency of reversion was persistently elevated during the proliferation cycle of the cells in the retinal pigment epithelium when the male parents were irradiated at the spermatozoa stage. The present study demonstrates the presence of a long-lasting memory of DNA damage and the persistent up-regulation of recombinogenic activity in the retinal pigment epithelium of the developing fetus.