|The CD8(+) natural killer (NK) subpopulation has recently been identified as a fast and reliable biodosimetric indicator within human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in vitro. In irradiated and subsequently cultivated PBMC, a decrease of the relative number of intact CD3-CD8(+) lymphocytes 16 and 48 hr after treatment has allowed for estimating the received dose in the range of 0 - 10 Gy and lethal/sublethal dose discrimination, respectively. Here we show that suitable biodosimeters can also be found in the peripheral blood B-cell compartment. Multiparameter flow cytometric analysis of irradiated and subsequently cultivated human PBMC revealed that both the CD27(+) and CD21(-) B-cell subpopulations can be used as biodosimeters and the CD19(+)CD27(+) lymphocytes have proved useful for retrospective determination of the received dose in the range of 0 - 6 Gy. In addition, several CD19(+) lymphocyte subsets characterized by co expression of CD21, CD27 and CD38 have been shown to bear biodosimetric potential, too. However, when important parameters like the original size within the CD19(+) compartment, its radiation-induced changes and data variation had been taken into account, the CD27(+) subpopulation proved superior to the other B-cell subpopulations and subsets. It appears that, in the dose range of 0 - 6 Gy, the relative decrease of CD27(+) B lymphocytes provides more sensitive and reliable data than that of CD8(+) NK-cells due mainly to lower data variation. In contrast to CD27(+) B cells, the proportions of CD27(+) subpopulations of T-cells were not affected by irradiation. We have also proposed a simple experimental protocol based on full blood cultivation and three-color CD27/CD3/CD19 immunophenotyping as a time-saving and inexpensive approach for practical biodosimetric evaluations on simple, three-to-four color flow cytometers.