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Effect Of Ionizing Radiation On Neuromuscular Junctions In Mouse Tongues.

R. Gorodetsky, G. Amir, R. Yarom
Published 1992 · Biology, Medicine

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Radiation damage to the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in mouse tongues was studied using local x-irradiation of the tongues with the rest of the body shielded. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed no significant morphological changes in the fine structures and organelles of the NMJs given 4 Gy. A dose of 8 Gy produced degenevative morphological changes associated with oxon terminal sprouting as early as 2 and 7 days following irradiation. Subsequently, 1-11 weeks later, severe degenerative changes were observed. The number of mitochondria was significantly decreased with increased occurrence of degenerative membranal features. The number of synaptic footplates without terminals or with multiple small terminals within one groove increased gradually with time. Most of these pathological changes persisted for at least 3 months after irradiation. However, the myofibres, blood vessels and interstitial cells appeared to be unaffected throughout the period of follow-up. The present study substantiates our previous reports of ageing-like changes in the tongues' NMJs induced by their excessive exposure to free radicals.
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