Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model

Wendy W. Kuhne, Brad B. Gersey, Richard Wilkins, Honglu Wu, Stephen A. Wender, Varghese George, William S. Dynan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interaction of solar protons and galactic cosmic radiation with the atmosphere and other materials produces high-energy secondary neutrons from below 1 to 1000 MeV and higher. Although secondary neutrons may provide an appreciable component of the radiation dose equivalent received by space and high-altitude air travelers, the biological effects remain poorly defined, particularly in vivo in intact organisms. Here we describe the acute response of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos to a beam of high-energy spallation neutrons that mimics the energy spectrum of secondary neutrons encountered aboard spacecraft and high-altitude aircraft. To determine RBE, embryos were exposed to 00.5 Gy of high-energy neutron radiation or 015 Gy of reference γ radiation. The radiation response was measured by imaging apoptotic cells in situ in defined volumes of the embryo, an assay that provides a quantifiable, linear dose response. The slope of the dose response in the developing head, relative to reference γ radiation, indicates an RBE of 24.9 (95 CI 13.640.7). A higher RBE of 48.1 (95 CI 30.066.4) was obtained based on overall survival. A separate analysis of apoptosis in muscle showed an overall nonlinear response, with the greatest effects at doses of less than 0.3 Gy. Results of this experiment indicate that medaka are a useful model for investigating biological damage associated with high-energy neutron exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation research
Volume172
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

Fingerprint

vertebrates
biological effects
Neutrons
Vertebrates
Oryzias
neutrons
embryos
Radiation
radiation
dosage
Embryonic Structures
high altitude
energy
Cosmic Radiation
Spacecraft
solar protons
Radiation Dosage
Biological Models
Aircraft
apoptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Kuhne, W. W., Gersey, B. B., Wilkins, R., Wu, H., Wender, S. A., George, V., & Dynan, W. S. (2009). Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model. Radiation research, 172(4), 473-480. https://doi.org/10.1667/RR1556.1

Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model. / Kuhne, Wendy W.; Gersey, Brad B.; Wilkins, Richard; Wu, Honglu; Wender, Stephen A.; George, Varghese; Dynan, William S.

In: Radiation research, Vol. 172, No. 4, 01.10.2009, p. 473-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kuhne, WW, Gersey, BB, Wilkins, R, Wu, H, Wender, SA, George, V & Dynan, WS 2009, 'Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model', Radiation research, vol. 172, no. 4, pp. 473-480. https://doi.org/10.1667/RR1556.1
Kuhne, Wendy W. ; Gersey, Brad B. ; Wilkins, Richard ; Wu, Honglu ; Wender, Stephen A. ; George, Varghese ; Dynan, William S. / Biological effects of high-energy neutrons measured in vivo using a vertebrate model. In: Radiation research. 2009 ; Vol. 172, No. 4. pp. 473-480.
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