Scanning Microscopy


In order to examine the effect of radiation on growing tissue, especially the fibroblasts and their end-product, the collagen fibres, tails from 24 mice were irradiated at an age of 8 days with 20 Gy and 30 Gy (>°Co). Tails from 18 animals served as controls. Six mice from each group were sacrificed on day 8, 20 and 30. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the fibroblasts and the collagen fibrils. Non-irradiated fibroblasts had a nucleus rich in chromatin and an abundant endoplasmic reticulum with cistemae and condensing vacuoles.

On day 20, approximately 50 % , and on day 30, 25 % of the fibroblasts irradiated with 30 Gy had a sparse endoplasmic reticulum pointing to a reduction of protein synthesis. While, on day 20, the fibrils irradiated with 20 Gy and with 30 Gy had significantly larger diameters compared to the controls, on day 30, the irradiated fibrils had a notably smaller diameter compared to the controls; 30 Gy-fibrils were larger than the 20 Gy-fibrils on both days.

On day 20, the binding mean value of the 30 Gy-fibrils exceeded that of the controls and was significantly higher than that of the 20 Gy-fibrils, which was lower, though not significantly, than the controls. On day 30, the banding mean value of the 30 Gy-fibrils was notably lower than the control; and the value of the 20 Gy-fibrils was significantly lower than that of the 30 Gy-fibrils. The results are explained as an edema together with an inhibitory effect on the protein synthesis of the fibroblasts caused by the irradiation. This deduction 1s further supported by light microscopy of the tails.

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