SREL Reprint #0228




Short-term Effects of Acute Sublethal Gamma Radiation on Populations of the Old-Field Mouse, Peromyscus polionotus


John A. Sealander



Three experimental populations of 20, 20 and 22 old-field mice (Peromyscus polionotus) were introduced into outdoor enclosures of approximately two acres in July and August, 1968.  Before release into the enclosure, half of each population was given an acute, sublethal dose of gamma irradiation (500 R of 80Co).  The nonirradiated members of the populations served as controls.  Mice in different introduced populations were allowed to interact freely under natural field conditions for nine days in one experiment and fourteen days in another.  After these periods of interaction the populations were removed by live-trapping and were analyzed for gross body composition between irradiated and nonirradiated mice in two introduced populations after nine days of interaction.  Weights of liver, spleen, paired kidneys, paired adrenals, heart and lung were measured in a third population along with reticullocyte number and relative numbers of leucocytes.  There were no significant differences in either absolute or relative organ weights of irradiated and nonirradiated mice in this population, but the variances of relative weights were greater in irradiated mice, significantly so for lung.  Relative numbers of lymphocytes were significantly lower and those of monocytes significantly higher in irradiated mice as compared with controls.  Relative neutrophil numbers were higher and reticulocyte numbers were lower in irradiated as compared with nonirradiated mice, but the differences were not significant.


SREL Reprint #0228

Sealander, J.A. 1970. Short term effects of acute sublethal gamma radiation on populations of the old field mouse, Peromyscus polionotus. Health Physics 19:299-306.

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