Ina, Y. and Sakai, K. Further Study of Prolongation of Life Span Associated with Immunological Modification by Chronic Low-Dose-Rate Irradiation in MRL-lpr/lpr Mice: Effects of Whole-Life Irradiation. Radiat. Res. 163, 418–423 (2005).

MRL-lpr/lpr mice carry a deletion in the apoptosis-regulating Fas gene that markedly shortens life due to multiple severe diseases. In our previous study (Radiat. Res. 161, 168– 173, 2004), chronic low-dose-rate γ irradiation of mice at 0.35 or 1.2 mGy/h for 5 weeks markedly prolonged the life span, accompanied by immunological activation. This report shows that extension of the irradiation period to the entire life of the mice at the same dose rates improved survival further. The 50% survival time for untreated mice, 134 days, was prolonged to 502 days by 1.2 mGy/h life-long irradiation. Also obtained were a time course and a radiation dose-rate response for the activation of the immune system as indicated by a significant increase in CD4+ CD8+ T cells in the thymus and CD8+ T cells in the spleen and also by a significant decrease in CD3+ CD45R/B220+ cells and CD45R/B220+ CD40+ cells in the spleen. Drastic ameliorations of multiple severe diseases, i.e. total-body lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly and serious autoimmune diseases including proteinuria, and kidney and brain-central nervous system syndromes, were found in parallel with these immunological activations, with lifelong low-dose-rate irradiation being more effective than 5-week irradiation at low dose rates.

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