Male Sprague-Dawley rats fed either laboratory chow or elemental diet 3 (see Radiat. Res. 66, 267-273 (1976)) were administered abdominal irradiation using single doses between 850 and 1300 rad. Diet-fed animals were more resistant to abdominal irradiation than those given laboratory chow, especially at lower doses. The greater intestinal radioresistance of diet-fed animals was associated with a higher cryptal proliferative activity, particularly in the proximal regions of the small intestine. Results are discussed in terms of a dietary effect at both cellular and systemic levels. Enhanced intestinal radioresistance could be of practical significance in the radiotherapeutic management of some tumors.

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