2010 Volume 72 Issue 5 Pages 605-609
Ionizing radiation suppresses neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. This in vitro study compared the detrimental effect of acute gamma-irradiation on immature hippocampal cells with mature cells. Both rat immature (0.5 day in vitro (DIV)) and mature hippocampal cells (14 DIV) were irradiated with 0-4 Gy gamma-rays. Cell viability was analyzed by using a 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. DNA fragmentation study was performed by extracting intracellular DNA. Morphological features of apoptosis were characterized by 4',6-diamidine-2'-phenylindole, dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining. MTT assay revealed that the survival rate of immature hippocampal cells declined in a dose-dependent manner within the range of irradiation applied, but was not changed in mature cells. Intranucleosomal DNA fragmentation in a ladder like pattern was dose-dependently increased in immature cells, but not in mature cells. The number of apoptotic nuclei in immature cells increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner within the range of irradiation applied. Active caspase-3 and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) expressions in immature hippocampal cells at 6 hr after 2 Gy exposure were markedly higher than control levels. The significantly greater radiosensitivity of immature hippocampal cells than that of the mature cells, indicates that the susceptibility of such hippocampal cells depends on their maturation. In addition, gamma-irradiation may induce caspase-dependent apoptosis in immature hippocampal cells.