Impact of early life exposure to ionizing radiation on influenza vaccine response in an elderly Japanese cohort

Tomonori Hayashi, Heather E. Lynch, Susan Geyer, Kengo Yoshida, Keiko Furudoi, Keiko Sasaki, Yukari Morishita, Hiroko Nagamura, Mayumi Maki, Yiqun Hu, Ikue Hayashi, Seishi Kyoizumi, Yoichiro Kusunoki, Waka Ohishi, Saeko Fujiwara, Munechika Misumi, Ivo Shterev, Janko Nikolich-Žugich, Donna Murasko, Laura P. HaleGregory D. Sempowski, Kei Nakachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of whole body radiation exposure early in life on influenza vaccination immune responses much later in life. A total of 292 volunteers recruited from the cohort members of ongoing Adult Health Study (AHS) of Japanese atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivors completed this observational study spanning two influenza seasons (2011–2012 and 2012–2013). Peripheral blood samples were collected prior to and three weeks after vaccination. Serum hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titers were measured as well as concentrations of 25 cytokines and chemokines in culture supernatant from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, with and without in vitro stimulation with influenza vaccine. We found that influenza vaccination modestly enhanced serum HAI titers in this unique cohort of elderly subjects, with seroprotection ranging from 18 to 48% for specific antigen/season combinations. Twelve percent of subjects were seroprotected against all three vaccine antigens post-vaccination. Males were generally more likely to be seroprotected for one or more antigens post-vaccination, with no differences in vaccine responses based on age at vaccination or radiation exposure in early life. These results show that early life exposure to ionizing radiation does not prevent responses of elderly A-bomb survivors to seasonal influenza vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6650-6659
Number of pages10
Issue number45
StatePublished - Oct 29 2018


  • Antibodies
  • Atomic-bomb radiation
  • Chemokine
  • Cytokine
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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