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Radiat Res. 1989 Oct;120(1):140-53.

Response of parotid gland organ culture to radiation.

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Division of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


Organ cultures of rhesus parotid tissue in medium enriched with homologous serum and supplemented with low levels of isoproterenol were irradiated with single photon doses of 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, 12.5, or 15.0 Gy. Following irradiation, the tissue was incubated while being agitated for 24 h; then it was fixed in formalin. Microscopically, death of serous acinar cells was seen in areas unaltered by autolysis. Based on the numbers of nuclear aberrations, the dose response did not differ significantly from that observed at 24 h in parotid gland irradiated in vivo. The similar rapid response under the two conditions shows that apoptosis of irradiated parotid serous cells is a direct expression of interphase cell death.

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