Effects of neonatal thymic exposure to high doses of X-irradiation

Bains, G. S. ; Sundaram, K. (1979) Effects of neonatal thymic exposure to high doses of X-irradiation International Journal of Radiation Biology, 36 (3). pp. 233-239. ISSN 0955-3002

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09553007914551001


The thymic region of neonatal Swiss mice was exposed to doses varying from 1000R to 2000R of X-irradiation. The animals did not show any signs of wasting syndrome up to 6 months after irradiation. At this time hyperplasia of the thymus with an associated lymphocytosis was evident in irradiated animals. Antibody production to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) was not affected. However, at 12 months post-irradiation the animals showed signs of wasting disease with a progressive increase in their numbers at 18 and 24 months of age. The percentage incidence of animals with wasting disease was dose dependent. At this stage in the majority of the animals with the disease the thymus showed varying degrees of atrophy along with splenomegaly. There were no significant differences in the number of lymphocytes but the number of granulocytes showed a substantial increase. This was more evident in animals exposed to 2000 R to the thymic region. Though one observed a lowered ability to form antibodies to bovine serum albumin (BSA) with advancing age, the thymic irradiation did not affect the immune response to BSA even in animals manifesting wasting disease. An interesting observation has been the development of a severe loss of muscle power and tone in the hind limbs in a large majority of animals.

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