After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, we studied the chromosomal aberrations (dicentrics and translocations) in the splenic lymphocytes of wild mice inhabiting Fukushima prefecture. Here, we report the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in large Japanese field mice (Apodemus speciosus) captured from 2012 to 2016 in a heavily contaminated area. The chromosomal aberrations were detected using newly developed 4-color FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) with A. speciosus chromosome 1-, 3-, 4- and 5-specific painting probes. The frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in mice captured in July 2012 and October 2014 were significantly higher than that in the mice inhabiting the non-contaminated control area; however, the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in mice captured in January 2016 was not. The frequency of chromosomal aberrations in individual mice tended to increase with certain dose rates and accumulated doses. Regression tree analyses suggested increasing chromosomal aberration rate in mice exposed to chronic radiation at dose rates of more than 1.1 mGy day–1 and at accumulated doses of more than 200 mGy. It is concluded that ambient dose rates in the most severely contaminated area of Fukushima prefecture and radiation doses to wild mice inhabiting this area decrease with time; consequently, chromosomal aberrations induced by radiation have not been detected 5 years after the accident.
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Vol. 198 • No. 4