Background: An earlier study has shown that irradiation at the late fetal stage of Swiss albino mice disturbed postnatal growth and appearance of physiological markers. The present study was done to determine the effect of irradiation at the early fetal stage on the postnatal development of mouse. Methods: Fourteen-day pregnant Swiss albino mice were exposed to 0.1-1.5 Gy of cobalt-60 γ-rays. F1 pups were observed for ≤6 weeks of age. Postnatal mortality, body weight and length, head length and width, tail length, and the time of appearance of physiological markers (pinna detachment, eye opening, fur development, vaginal opening and testes descent) were noted. Results: There was no increase in congenital anomalies. Postnatal mortality and percentage of growth-retarded pups increased significantly at doses of 0.5-1.5 Gy. A significant delay in the appearance of all the physiological markers was also noted at these doses. Body length, head length, and tail length remained significantly lower than in the controls throughout the observation period at doses of 0.3-1.5 Gy, whereas body weight and head width showed such a persistent change only at ≥0.5 Gy. Conclusions: The early fetal day 14 in mouse is sensitive to radiation-induced postnatal mortality and impairment of growth and temporal development of physiological markers, but not to induction of congenital anomalies. While mortality and physiological markers are not affected at <0.5 Gy, growth retardation appears to have a lower threshold of ∼0.3 Gy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis