Development of blood vessel-related radiation damage in the fimbria of the central nervous system

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1990 Jan;18(1):37-42. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(90)90264-k.


The identification problem of the dose-limiting tissue component was investigated in the CNS of rats. Moderate single doses of radiation, ranging from 20 to 25 Gy were applied to the brain of adult female rats. The sequence of events was analyzed by scoring a series of morphological changes in one of the white matter structures that appears to represent a sensitive location, that is the fimbria hippocampi. The previously defined "Tissue Injury Unit", characterized by a dilation of the blood vessel lumen, a thickening of the blood vessel wall, an enlargement of endothelial cell nuclei, and a hypertrophy of the adjacent astrocytes which represents a combined score of four different, but related histological changes, proved to be slightly more sensitive and responsive than the earliest recognizable changes in the neurological structures, that is demyelination. In addition, the incidence of demyelination could be expressed as a function of the intensity of the "Tissue Injury Unit". These findings can be interpreted as an additional indication that blood vessel changes and the hypertrophy of the perivascular astrocytes precede degenerative changes in the white matter of the CNS after moderate doses of X rays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / diagnostic imaging
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases / etiology
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / diagnostic imaging
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / blood supply
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reference Values