Average numbers of living fetuses in female rats exposed to 300 R of whole-body X-irradiation on the morning prior to mating were significantly (p≤ 0.05) increased following administration of 1.0 mg of progesterone (sc) on the afternoon prior to mating, by 7.5 mg of progesterone (sc) on days 7 to 12 of pregnancy, or by a combination of the above therapies. Possible mechanisms of action are discussed. The data are interpreted as evidence that radiation-induced maternal dysfunction is the contributing factor in a portion of the embryonic mortality observed in rats irradiated shortly before mating.

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