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Radiat Res. 1983 Dec;96(3):611-27.

Ultrastructure of cell death in gamma- or X-irradiated imaginal wing discs of Drosophila.


When Drosophila larvae were irradiated with 1300-1500 R of gamma rays both apoptotic and necrotic cell death were observed in imaginal wing discs. The ultrastructure of cell death by apoptosis was characterized by fragmentation of dead cells into highly condensed, membrane-bound particles. The ultrastructure of cell death by necrosis was characterized by cell lysis and organelle degeneration. Marked contrast was also seen in the distribution of the two types of cell death: apoptosis was universal in irradiated discs and affected widely distributed single cells, or small groups of cells, whereas necrosis formed lesions by afflicting large numbers of contiguous cells. It was noted that even where there were large lesions in the epithelial cell layer, which is the primary component of imaginal discs, the basement membrane associated with this epithelium always remained intact. Lesions could be identified in freshly extirpated discs by staining with trypan blue and were found in 50-70% of irradiated discs (depending on the larval age at the time of irradiation). Lesions were seen in all regions of the wing disc and varied greatly in size. In spite of extensive necrotic cell death wing discs developed into normal adult wings. Regenerative growth in this case would appear to require significant reorganization of cells. Implications of this for the appropriate interpretation of clonal analysis are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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