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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 21(4); 2003 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2003;21(4): 315-321.
Radiation-induced Apoptosis in Developing Fetal Rat Cerebral Cortex
Woong Ki Chung, Taek Keun Nam, Min Cheol Lee, Sung Ja Ahn, Ju Young Song, Seung Jin Park, Byung Sik Nah
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Chonnam National University Medical School, University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea. wkchung@chonnam.ac.kr
2Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Medical School, University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
3Department of Medical Engineering, Chonnam National University Medical School, University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
This study was performed to investigate apoptosis by radiation in the developing fetal rat brain.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Fetal brains were irradiated in utero between the 17th and 19th days of fetal life (E17-19) by linear accelerator. A dose of irradiation ranging from 1 Gy to 4 Gy was used to evaluate dose dependency. To test time dependency the rats were irradiated with 2 Gy and then the fetal brain specimens were removed at variable time course; 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours after the onset of irradiation. Immunohistochemical staining using in situ TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) technique was used for apoptotic cells. The cerebral cortex, including three zones of cortical zone (CZ), intermediate zone (IZ), and ventricular zone (VZ), was examined.
RESULTS:
TUNEL positive cells revealed typical features of apoptotic cells under light microscope in the fetal rat cerebral cortex. Apoptotic cells were not found in the cerebral cortex of non-irradiated fetal rats, but did appear in the entire cerebral cortex after 1 Gy irradiation, and were more extensive at the ventricular and intermediate zones than at the cortical zone. The extent of apoptosis was increased with increasing doses of radiation. Apoptosis reached the peak at 6 hours after the onset of 2 Gy irradiation and persisted until 24 hours.
CONCLUSION:
Typical morphologic features of apoptosis by irradiation were observed in the developing fetal rat cerebral cortex. It was more extensive at the ventricular and intermediate zones than at the cortical zone, which suggested that stem cells or early differentiating cells are more radiosensitive than differentiated cells of the cortical zone.
Key Words: Radiation, Apoptosis, Rat, Brain
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