Evidence is accumulating that the proliferative capacity of mammalian cells has a uniformly high radiation sensitivity regardless of the species and tissue of origin. The evidence derives from experiments on fresh explants and established cell lines in tissue culture (1–0033-7587-175-2-145-b02,0033-7587-175-2-145-b03,4), and on transplantable tumors in vivo (5) where single-cell techniques have been applied. Further, experiments using an indirect technique to measure the sensitivity of normal mouse bone marrow indicated that these cells have a radiation sensitivity of similar magnitude (6). In the present report a direct method of assay for these cells with a single-cell technique will be described.

The method is based on the fact that the intravenous injection of an appropriate number of marrow cells into isologous hosts previously exposed to supralethal total-body irradiation leads to the formation of colonies of...

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