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Rat testis as a radiobiological in vivo model for radionuclides.

  • Gustav Grafström
  • Bo-Anders Jönsson
  • A M El Hassan
  • Jan Tennvall
  • Sven-Erik Strand
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 32-42
Publication/Series: Radiation Protection Dosimetry
Volume: 118
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nuclear Technology Publishing

Abstract english

The radiobiological effect of intracellularly localised radionuclides emitting low energy electrons (Auger electrons) has received much attention. Most in vivo studies reported have been performed in the mouse testis. We have investigated the rat testis as an in vivo radiobiological model, with sperm-head survival, testis weight loss and also alteration in the blood plasma hormone levels of FSH and LH as radiobiological endpoints. Validation of the rat testis model was evaluated by using mean absorbed doses of up to 10 Gy from intratesticularly (i.t.) injected In-111 oxine or local X-ray irradiation. Biokinetics of the i.t. injected radionuclide was analysed by scintillation camera imaging and used in the absorbed dose estimation. By the analysis of the autoradiographs, the activity distribution was revealed. Cell fractionation showed In-111 to be mainly associated with the cell nuclei. External irradiations were monitored by thermoluminescence dosimeters. The sperm-head survival was the most sensitive radiobiological parameter correlated to the mean absorbed dose, with a D-37 of 2.3 Gy for In-111 oxine and 1.3 Gy for X rays. The levels of plasma pituitary gonadal hormones FSH and LH were elevated for absorbed doses > 7.7 Gy. This investigation shows that the radiobiological model based on the rat testis has several advantages compared with the previously commonly used mouse testis model. The model is appropriate for further investigations of basic phenomena such as radiation geometry, intracellular kinetics and heterogeneity, crucial for an understanding of the biological effect of low-energy electrons.


  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • ISSN: 1742-3406
Sven-Erik Strand
E-mail: sven-erik [dot] strand [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Project manager

Systemic Radiation Therapy Group


Professor emeritus

Medical Radiation Physics, Lund