Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Relative Radiosensitivities of the Maternal Reproductive Tract and the Fertilized Ovum


THE loss of pregnancy which occurs when an animal is subjected to large doses of irradiation has generally been ascribed to the radiosensitivity of the ova. However, an indication that the reproductive tract of the mother may be injured has been provided by Chang and Hunt1, who showed that pseudopregnant rabbits subjected to 400 r. had an increased incidence of embryonic mortality when ova which had not been irradiated were transferred to them. Further, Glasser2 has presented evidence that placental dysfunction is a major cause of pregnancy wastage in irradiated rats. The present experiments were designed to determine whether or not the lethal effects on ova resulting from irradiation of a pregnant animal might occur as a result of harm to the maternal reproductive tract.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Chang, M. C., Hunt, D. M., Anat. Rec., 137, 511 (1960).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Glasser, S. R., Effects of Ionizing Radiation on the Reproductive System, edit. by Carlsen, W. O., and Gassner, F. X., 361 (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1964).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Billingham, R. E., and Silvers, W. K., Transplantation of Tissues and Cells, (Wistar Institute Press, Philadelphia, 1961).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Noyes, R. W., and Dickman, Z., Fertility and Sterility, 12, 67 (1961).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Yoshida, H., Sci. Bull. Fac. Agric. Kyushu Univ., 16, 171 (1957).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

KETCHEL, M., BANIK, U. Relative Radiosensitivities of the Maternal Reproductive Tract and the Fertilized Ovum. Nature 202, 1021–1022 (1964).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing