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Mutat Res. 2004 May 9;560(1):19-26.

Gamma ray induced bone marrow micronucleated erythrocytes in seven strains of mouse.

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Genetic Toxicology and Chromosome Studies Section, Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India.


We have investigated the effect of gamma-radiation on the frequency of bone marrow micronucleated erythrocytes in seven inbred strains of adult male mice. Twenty animals of each strain viz. Swiss, C57BL/6, C57BR/cd, C3H, CBA, DBA, and AKR were irradiated at 0.0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00Gy of gamma-rays at a dose rate of 0.46Gy/min using a 60Co-teletharapy machine. Animals were sacrificed 24h post-irradiation, bone marrow smears were made and stained in May-Grunwald Giemsa for evaluating the frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes as indicators of chromosomal damage. About 2000 polychromatic erythrocytes (PCEs) and the corresponding normochromatic erythrocytes (NCEs) were scored for each mouse. Thus, at least 8000 PCEs were scored for each dose point in all the groups. The spontaneous frequency of mn-PCEs per thousand (per thousand ) cells varied considerably among the strains with C57BR/cd (3.47 per thousand ) exhibiting highest as compared to CBA (2.47 per thousand ) and DBA (2.35 per thousand). Radiation exposure, even at lowest dose of 0.125Gy, induced a significant increase in the frequency of mn-PCEs and a dose dependent response was observed among all the strains. However, the animals irradiated at lower doses (0.125-0.50Gy) showed marked differences in the extent of radiation induced chromosomal damage among the various genotypes. At highest dose of radiation (1.00Gy), genotype dependent variability in the frequency of mn-PCEs was not so marked but relatively comparable among the various strains. This study clearly shows that the magnitude of variability of radiation induced chromosomal damage among different strains of mouse can be different at different doses. Therefore, use of single dose point comparisons and/or use of only higher doses of radiation for ascertainment of genotype dependent variability in mouse may lead to erroneous conclusions.

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