Effect of late Fetal irradiation on adult behavior of mouse: Dose-response relationship

P. Uma Devi, M. Hossain, K. S. Bisht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnant Swiss mice were exposed to 0.3-1.5 Gy of gamma radiation on day 17 of gestation and allowed to deliver the offspring. When the F1 mice were 6 months old, they were subjected to a number of behavioral tests. Open-field and dark-bright arena tests were conducted to study locomotor and exploratory activities. Learning and memory were tested by holeboard activity, conditioned avoidance response, and radial arm maze performance. After all the tests, 20 animals (10 males and 10 females) from each group were killed, and their brain weight was taken. The open-field and dark-bright arena tests showed a significant dose-dependent decrease in the locomotor and exploratory activities. Reduction in time spent in the dark area and higher locomotor activity in the bright area indicated a reduced aversion to bright light. But the emotional activities like rearing and grooming did not change. The learning and memory functions also showed a significant impairment, even at 0.3 Gy. The deficit in the performance in the holeboard test, conditioned avoidance response, as well as maze-learning efficiency, decreased linearly with increase in radiation dose. The brain weight showed a linear dose-dependent decrease. But the brain/body weight ratio was not significantly affected even at 1.5 Gy. These results demonstrate that exposure of a mouse on day 17 of gestation to radiation doses below 1.0 Gy can induce significant impairment in the adult brain function, without producing any notable effects on brain morphology. This study also suggests that the retardation of higher brain function by exposures during the late fetal period may have a threshold of around 0.3 Gy. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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