Radiation-induced-thymic Lymphoma Occurs in Young, but Not in Old Mice

Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Jun;74(3):319-25. doi: 10.1016/s0014-4800(03)00026-1.


Young mice exposed to fractionated whole-body irradiation develop thymic lymphoma. By using young and old mice, we examined the effect of age on the occurrence of radiation-induced thymic lymphoma in mice. In the first experiment, young and old mice were grafted with newborn thymus under kidney capsule and then treated with fractionated whole-body irradiation (FWI). In the second and third experiments, four combinations of bone marrow chimeras were constructed by transplanting bone marrow cells from young and old mice into young and old mice. Then these chimera mice were grafted with newborn thymus and treated with fractionated whole-body irradiation. The results in the present study indicate that the incidence of thymic lymphoma is influenced by age factors of thymic microenvironment, bone marrow, and host environment. If they are all young, the incidence of thymic lymphoma is high. If one of these is old, the incidence definitely decreases. Thymic lymphoma never occurred in old thymic environment even in the presence of young thymocytes. In conclusion, age advantage is present in the induction of thymic lymphoma after the treatment with FWI and the incidence definitely decreases in the presence of old factors.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Lymphoma / chemistry
  • Lymphoma / etiology
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology*
  • Radiation Chimera
  • Thy-1 Antigens / analysis
  • Thymus Gland / pathology
  • Thymus Gland / radiation effects
  • Thymus Gland / transplantation
  • Thymus Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Thymus Neoplasms / etiology
  • Thymus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Thy-1 Antigens