Hacker-Klom, U. B., Köhnlein, W. and Göhde, W. Effects of Single and Split Doses of Cobalt-60 Gamma Rays and 14 MeV Neutrons on Mouse Stem Cell Spermatogonia.

The long-term effects of ionizing radiation on male gonads may be the result of damage to spermatogonial stem cells. Doses of 10 cGy to 15 Gy 60Co γ rays or 10 cGy to 7 Gy 14 MeV neutrons were given to NMRI mice as single or split doses separated by a 24-h interval. The ratios of haploid spermatids/2c cells and the coefficients of variation of DNA histogram peaks as measures of both the cytocidal and the clastogenic actions of radiation were analyzed by DNA flow cytometry after DAPI staining. The coefficient of variation is not only a statistical examination of the data but is also used here as a measure of residual damage to DNA (i.e. a biological dosimeter). Testicular histology was examined in parallel. At 70 days after irradiation, the relative biological effectiveness for neutrons at 50% survival of spermatogonial stem cells was 3.6 for single doses and 2.8 for split doses. The average coefficient of variation of unirradiated controls of elongated spermatids was doubled when stem cells were irradiated with single doses of approximately 14 Gy 60Co γ rays or 3 Gy neutrons and observed 70 days later. Split doses of 60Co γ rays were more effective than single doses, doubling DNA dispersion at 7 Gy. No fractionation effect was found with neutrons with coefficients of variation.

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