X-irradiation of mice in the early fetal period. II. Influence on postnatal activities of brain acetylcholinesterase and Na,K-adenosinetriphosphatase

L. Weber, W. Schmahl, H. Kriegel

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Pregnant NMRI mice were X-irradiated with 50, 100 and 200 R, respectively, on the twelfth gestational day. The brains of their offspring were weighed and examined for acetylcholinesterase and Na,K-ATPase activities from birth until the 64th postnatal day. The postnatal brain weights were influenced by the prenatal irradiation in a dose-dependent manner. At birth the brains of the treated animals weighed less than those of the controls. After a limited period of restitution (postnatal days 3 to 10), weights fell again, as compared to the controls, and persisted at subnormal levels. This was assumed to be a sequel of surplus neuron cell formation and their speedy degradation as soon as neuronal function had been established. The curves of the activities (per gram of brain tissue) of acetylcholinesterse as well as Na,K-ATPase showed oscillating compensatory responses to the prenatal irradiation. Activities were preferentially found at supernormal levels, the oscillation lasting as long as the restitution period of the brain weights. With the 50 R and 100 R groups, enzyme activities were steadily above the control levels from the 16th until the 48th day after birth. On the 64th postnatal day all enzyme activities but one (200 R, Na,K-ATPase) had returned to the control levels. Oscillating responses to prenatal X-irradiation have been described for the DNA-synthesis in livers and brains of mice [13, 14] during the first three postnatal weeks. From this perspective, the authors' results are discussed as the outcome of radiation-induced alterations in genome activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


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