The number of clonogenic cells in crypts in three regions of murine large intestine

Int J Radiat Biol. 1997 May;71(5):573-9. doi: 10.1080/095530097143905.


Data are presented for the kinetics of repair of sub-lethal damage in the large intestine of mice. The results are based on experiments using the crypt microcolony assay with two equal sized doses which were delivered with a variable interval of time between the doses. These show that this split-dose repair was largely complete after 5 h, and that there were no significant differences between three regions of the large intestine. Overall the half-time for the repair was 2.3 +/- 0.8 h, and the maximum split-dose repair ratio (the proportion of damage recovered by splitting the dose into two fractions) was 22 +/- 2% and the mean recovery factor (the ratio of the number of surviving crypts using long interfraction intervals to that at zero time) was 11 +/- 2. The split-dose approach (Hendry 1979) using a 5 h interval has been used to estimate the number of clonogenic cells in large intestinal crypts. A range of single and paired doses between 7 Gy and 10.5 Gy were used. There were significant differences between the three regions of the large intestine, the caecum, mid-colon and rectum. The estimate of the number of clonogens also depended in a significant way on the dose of radiation used to make the estimate. At low doses large intestinal crypts contain between 5 and 10 clonogenic cells while if high doses were used they contain an estimated 16 to 36 clonogenic cells. Considerable similarity exists between the small intestine and the large intestine for; (a) the repair kinetics (b), the clonogenic estimates, and (c) their dependence on dose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Intestine, Large / pathology
  • Intestine, Large / radiation effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Stem Cells / radiation effects*