Keywords: gamma irradiation, low dose rate, suppression of carcinogenesis, skin tumour, mouse
Suppression of carcinogenic processes in mice by chronic low dose rate gamma-irradiation
Effects of low dose rate radiation on the process of carcinogenesis induced by a chemical carcinogen were examined. ICR female mice, 35 or 36 mice for each group, were kept and exposed to 137Cs gamma-rays in the long-term low dose rate irradiation facility at the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry at a dose rate of 0.3, 0.96, or 2.5 mGy/h. Thirty-five days later, the mice were injected in the groin with 0.5 mg of 20-methylcholanthrene (MC) dissolved in olive oil, and irradiation was continued. Tumours started to appear 2 months after MC injection. Cumulative tumour incidences after 216 days following MC injection were 94% in the mice irradiated at 0.3 mGy/h, 76% at 0.95 mGy/h, 89% at 0.30 mGy/h, and 94% in non-irradiated control mice. The difference between the tumour incidence in the control mice and that in the mice irradiated at 0.95 mGy/h was statistically significant. These results indicate the suppressive effect of low dose rate irradiation on the process of tumour induction initiated by MC with an optimum dose rate of approximately 1 mGy/h.