Letter | Published:

Radiation Sensitivity of Rodent Species

Nature volume 222, pages 10031004 (07 June 1969) | Download Citation

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Abstract

WILD species of rodents are reported to be more resistant to acute radiation exposure than laboratory strains1. The LD50(30) acute exposure dose for the old-field mouse (Peromyscus polionotus), the cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) and the harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys humilis) is 1,100 to 1,200 r., for the cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) 1,200 to 1,500 r. and for pocket mice (Perognathus formosus and P. longimembris) 1,300 to 1,500 r.2–4. LD50(30) values for laboratory rodents range from 450 to 850 r. when the radiation is delivered as a single acute dose5. Ecologists have tended to interpret this as an advantage conferred by the “wild” condition. Chronic exposure over a long time is, however, less damaging than the same dose given in a short time5, but new results show that wild mice are quite sensitive to damage from chronic exposure in terms of life shortening and reduced fertility.

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Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology, University of California, Los Angeles.

    • N. R. FRENCH

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/2221003a0

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