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Unusual long-lasting effects induced by low doses of radiation: electron microscopy studies of endothelium of rat myocardium capillaries

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An attempt is made to substantiate experimentally the pathophysiological mechanism of disturbance in relatively radio-resistant tissues (myocardial capillary endothelium of rats) after X-ray irradiation at low doses comparable with doses to liquidators of the Chernobyl accident. It has been found that the X-ray radiation at a dose of 0.5 Gy induces long-lasting potential alterations in rat myocardial capillary endothelial cells, in the form of an increase in the yield of cells with different signs of cytoplasmic damage. The observed effect does not depend on the dose, ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 Gy, and appears during the most of an animal's life. Dynamic observations have shown the absence of reparative changes in the damaged cells. It is suggested that the detected changes might play a significant role in the development of non-stochastic, low-dose radiation effects (including post-accident situations).

Keywords: ionising irradiation, low doses, myocardial capillary endothelium, rat myocardium capillaries, electron microscopy, low radiation, X-ray irradiation, Chernobyl, nuclear accidents, mammalian cells, vascular endotheliocytes

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