Seventy pregnant adult Wistar strain rats were randomly assigned to 1 of 12 exposure groups; 9th or 17th day irradiation at the 0-, 0.1-, 0.2-, 0.4-, 0.6-, or 0.8-Gy dosage level. On the first day of postnatal life, litters were reduced to a maximum of eight pups per litter. A total of 508 pups were observed for the age of acquisition of five reflexes (air righting, surface righting, visual placing, negative geotaxis, auditory startle) and the appearance of four physiologic markers (pinna detachment, eye opening, vaginal opening, testes descent). A dose-response relationship for alterations in reflex acquisition and physiologic marker appearance was observed due to exposure above 0.2 Gy on the 17th day of gestation. Therefore, 0.2 to 0.4-Gy exposure may represent a threshold range for exposure on the 17th day using these postnatal parameters.

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