The influence of sex on life shortening and tumor induction in CBA/Cne mice exposed to X rays or fission neutrons

Vincenzo Di Majo, Mario Coppola, Simonetta Rebessi, Anna Saran, Simonetta Pazzaglia, Lorraine Pariset, Vincenzo Covelli

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An experimental study of male and female CBA/Cne mice was set up at Casaccia primarily to investigate the influence of sex on long-term survival and tumor induction after exposure to high- and low-LET radiation. Mice were whole-body-irradiated at 3 months of age with fission-neutron doses of 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.2 and 1.8 Gy at the RSV-TAPIRO reactor (mean neutron energy 0.4 MeV, in terms of kerma, ȳ(D) = 51.5 keV/μm), or with 250 kVp X-ray doses of 1, 3, 5 and 7 Gy. Control and irradiated animals were then followed for their entire life span. As a general finding, male CBA/Cne mice appear more susceptible to tumorigenesis than females. In particular, the incidences of induced acute myeloid leukemia and malignant lymphomas are significant only in male mice. Benign and malignant solid tumors of many types are observed in mice of both sexes, the most frequent being in the lung, liver and ovary. However, evidence for a radiation response is limited to the case of Harderian gland neoplasms. In addition, a comparison of the observed frequency of all irradiated compared to unirradiated animals bearing solid tumors shows that the total tumor occurrence is not altered markedly by radiation exposure. A decrease in survival time is observed for both sexes and radiation types and correlates well with increasing dose. Moreover, both sex and radiation quality appear to influence the life shortening. A similar dose dependence of survival time is found when tumor-free animals alone are considered, suggesting a non-specific component of life shortening.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81 - 87
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation

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