Nakano, M., Kodama, Y., Ohtaki, K., Nakashima, E., Niwa, O., Toyoshima, M. and Nakamura, N. Chromosome Aberrations do not Persist in the Lymphocytes or Bone Marrow Cells of Mice Irradiated In Utero or Soon after Birth. Radiat. Res. 167, 693–702 (2007).
Mice were exposed at various ages to 1 Gy or 2 Gy of X rays, and translocation frequencies in peripheral blood T cells, spleen cells, and bone marrow cells were determined with FISH painting of chromosomes 1 and 3 when the animals were 20 weeks old. It was found that the mean translocation frequencies were very low (≤0.8%) in mice exposed in the fetal or early postnatal stages. However, with the increase in animal age at the time of irradiation, the frequency observed at 20 weeks old became progressively higher then reached a plateau (about 5%) when mice were irradiated when ≥6 weeks old. A major role of p53 (Trp53)-dependent apoptosis for elimination of aberrant cells was not suggested because irradiated fetuses, regardless of the p53 gene status, showed low translocation frequencies (1.8% in p53−/− mice and 1.4% in p53 /− mice) compared to the frequency in the p53−/− mother (7.4%). In contrast, various types of aberrations were seen in spleen and liver cells when neonates were examined shortly after irradiation, similar to what was observed in bone marrow cells after irradiation in adults. We interpreted the results as indicating that fetal cells are generally sensitive to induction of chromosome aberrations but that the aberrant cells do not persist because fetal stem cells tend to be free of aberrations and their progeny replace the pre-existing cell populations during the postnatal growth of the animals.