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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cell death (apoptosis) in mouse intestine after continuous irradiation with gamma rays and with beta rays from tritiated water.

Apoptosis is a pattern of cell death involving nuclear pycnosis, cytoplasmic condensation, and karyorrhexis. Apoptosis induced by continuous irradiation with gamma rays (externally given by a 137Cs source) or with beta rays (from tritiated water injected ip) was quantified in the crypts of two portions of mouse bowel, the small intestine and descending colon. The time-course change in the incidence of apoptosis after each type of radiation could be explained on the basis of the innate circadian rhythm of the cells susceptible to apoptotic death and of the excretion of tritiated water (HTO) from the body. For 6-h continuous gamma irradiation at various dose rates (0.6-480 mGy/h) and for 6 h after injection of HTO of various radioactivities (0.15-150 GBq per kg body wt), the relationships between dose and incidence of apoptosis were obtained. Survival curves were then constructed from the curves for dose vs incidence of apoptosis. For the calculation of the absorbed dose from HTO, the water content both of the mouse body and of the cells was assumed to be 70%. One megabecquerel of HTO per mouse (i.e., 40 MBq/kg body wt) gave a dose rate of 0.131 mGy/h. The mean lethal doses (D0) were calculated for gamma rays and HTO, and relative biological effectiveness values of HTO relative to gamma rays were obtained. The D0 values for continuous irradiation with gamma rays were 210 mGy for small intestine and 380 mGy for descending colon, and the respective values for HTO were 130 and 280 mGy, indicating the high radiosensitivity of target cells for apoptotic death. The relative biological effectiveness of HTO relative to 137Cs gamma rays for cell killing in both the small intestine and the descending colon in the mouse was 1.4-2.1.[1]


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