Scanning Microscopy


Previous work on irradiation of mouse small intestine has assessed the changes produced by counting crypts/microcolonies, scoring villous shape or examining morphological changes in specific parts of the wall.

This paper used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to study the effects of whole body irradiation with 5 Gy neutrons on the surface and internal features of the intestinal wall of CFLP mice, 1 day, 3 days and 7 days after treatment.

Empirical scores from the ultrastructural findings were inserted into a Morphological Index display calculated from analytical data based on cell counts and area measurements obtained from resin histology sections. The final data display showed that the neutron irradiation produced marked structural changes in different cells and tissues by 1 day. These changes were maximal at 3 days with substantial improvement by 7 days.

When this data display was compared with scores taken from scanning electron microscopy of the mucosal surface, the change in villous shape from erect fingerlike projections to lower profiles less suited to absorption was seen to correlate more with changes in the smooth muscle than with the epithelial cryptal compartment.

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