Inderscience Publishers

Ethological studies in Swiss albino mice with special reference to the histology of the cerebellar tissue after an acute as well as a continuous low–dose tritiated water (HTO) exposure

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Health and environmental impact of tritium released from fusion reactor technology may end up as a worldwide problem in the final analysis. Pregnant Swiss albino mice were irradiated with 11.1 kBq ml−1 tritiated drinking water. The young ones born to them were maintained on tritiated water (HTO) at the same dose level and in adulthood, when tested in a maze showed an apparent increased learned behaviour over the controls, though statistically not significant. Similar results have been obtained when mice were acutely irradiated at a dose 185 kBq gm−1 body weight of tritiated water. Histologically, in the cerebellar tissue excised from mice brain after the ethology experiments, there was a depopulation of granule cells and the Purkinje cells appeared pyknotic and shrunken at certain places. At the cellular level, definitely there are radiopathological changes in brain, however, very contrastingly, at the organism level ethological data show a better learned behaviour in mice post tritiated water exposure.

Keywords: mice brain, maze, tritium, tritiated water exposure, learning behaviour, purkinje cells, pyknotic, cerebellum, radiopathological change, Swiss albino mice, ethology, histology, cerebellar tissue, HTO exposure, nuclear energy, nuclear power, radiation protection, radionuclides, radiation exposure

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