Neutron and X-ray effects on small intestine summarized by using a mathematical model or paradigm

Proc Biol Sci. 1991 Mar 22;243(1308):187-94. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1991.0030.


The responses of intestinal tissues to ionizing radiation can be described by comparing irradiated cell populations qualitatively or quantitatively with corresponding controls. This paper describes quantitative data obtained from resin-embedded sections of neutron-irradiated mouse small intestine at different times after treatment. Information is collected by counting cells or structures present per complete circumference. The data are assessed by using standard statistical tests, which show that early mitotic arrest precedes changes in goblet, absorptive, endocrine and stromal cells and a decrease in crypt numbers. The data can also produce ratios of irradiated: control figures for cells or structural elements. These ratios, along with tissue area measurements, can be used to summarize the structural damage as a composite graph and table, including a total figure, known as the Morphological Index. This is used to quantify the temporal response of the wall as a whole and to compare the effects of different qualities of radiation, here X-ray and cyclotron-produced neutron radiations. It is possible that such analysis can be used predictively along with other reference data to identify the treatment, dose and time required to produce observed tissue damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / radiation effects*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neutrons
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • X-Rays