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8 April 2011 Analysis of White Blood Cell Counts in Mice after Gamma- or Proton-Radiation Exposure
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In the coming decades human space exploration is expected to move beyond low-Earth orbit. This transition involves increasing mission time and therefore an increased risk of radiation exposure from solar particle event (SPE) radiation. Acute radiation effects after exposure to SPE radiation are of prime importance due to potential mission-threatening consequences. The major objective of this study was to characterize the dose–response relationship for proton and γ radiation delivered at doses up to 2 Gy at high (0.5 Gy/min) and low (0.5 Gy/h) dose rates using white blood cell (WBC) counts as a biological end point. The results demonstrate a dose-dependent decrease in WBC counts in mice exposed to high- and low-dose-rate proton and γ radiation, suggesting that astronauts exposed to SPE-like radiation may experience a significant decrease in circulating leukocytes.

by Radiation Research Society
Casey J. Maks, X. Steven Wan, Jeffrey H. Ware, Ana L. Romero-Weaver, Jenine K. Sanzari, Jolaine M. Wilson, Steve Rightnar, Andrew J. Wroe, Peter Koss, Daila S. Gridley, James M. Slater, and Ann R. Kennedy "Analysis of White Blood Cell Counts in Mice after Gamma- or Proton-Radiation Exposure," Radiation Research 176(2), 170-176, (8 April 2011).
Received: 13 August 2010; Accepted: 1 February 2011; Published: 8 April 2011

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