Absence of Depressive and Anxious Behavior with Genetic Dysregulation in Adult C57Bl/6J Mice after Prenatal Exposure to Ionizing Radiation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The exposure of ionizing radiation during early gestation often leads to deleterious and even lethal effects; however, few extensive studies have been conducted on late gestational exposures. This research examined the behavior al effects of C57Bl/6J mouse offspring exposed to low dose ionizing gamma irradiation during the equivalent third trimester. Pregnant dams were randomly assigned to sham or exposed groups to either low dose or sublethal dose radiation (50, 300, or 1000 mGy) at gestational day 15. Adult offspring underwent a behavioral and genetic analysis after being raised under normal murine housing conditions. Our results indicate very little change in the behavioral tasks measuring general anxiety, social anxiety, and stress-management in animals exposed prenatally across the low dose radiation conditions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions were conducted on the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum of each animal; results indicate some dysregulation in markers of DNA damage, synaptic activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulation, and methylation pathways in the offspring. Together, our results provide evidence in the C57Bl/6J strain, that exposure to sublethal dose radiation (<1000 mGy) during the last period of gestation leads to no observable changes in behaviour when assessed as adults, although some changes in gene expression were observed for specific brain regions. These results indicate that the level of oxidative stress occurring during late gestation for this mouse strain is not sufficient for a change in the assessed behavioral phenotype, but results in some modest dysregulation of the genetic profile of the brain.


  • Lalonde, Christine
  • Sreetharan, Shayenthiran
  • Murray, Alyssa
  • Stoa, Lisa
  • Cybulski, Mary Ellen
  • Kennedy, Allison
  • Landry, Nicholas
  • Stillar, Amy
  • Khurana, Sandhya
  • Tharmalingam, Sujeenthar
  • Wilson, Joanna
  • Khaper, Neelam
  • Lees, Simon J
  • Boreham, Douglas Robert
  • Tai, TC

publication date

  • May 9, 2023