Scanning Electron Microscopy


Eight month old C57BL6 mice were exposed (head only) to 0.5 rad or 50 rads of Argon particles at the Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Facility, CA. Neuromotor performance was assessed monthly for six months beginning twelve weeks post-irradiation using a ''string test". The decline in motor performance was dose-related and none of the animals was able to complete the task after four months of testing. Morphological changes were monitored six and twelve months post-irradiation by light and electron microscopy. The synaptic density in the CA-1 area of the hippocampus decreased six and twelve months after irradiation. The decrease after twelve months was less than after six months. The width of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) of the retina increased with increasing dose. The number of blood vessels between the ONL and the ganglion layer decreased twelve months after irradiation and this area did not show significant accumulation of age pigment.

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