Student Research: Shawn Anthony O'Toole

, , 1992
Faculty Advisor:

Biochemical Alterations in the Irradiated Rat Liver


Since early experiments involving liver irradiation reported little if any observale hepatic damage; the liver was thought to be radioresistant. However, edema after irradiation has been reported with an influx of inflammatory cells. Pohle and Bunting performed a histological study and observed no incidence of mecrosis up to 30 days after acutely irradiating the whole liver of adult rats with 6 to 25 Gy. Ariel's experiment involving a detailed histopathological study of rabbit livers, examined from 0 to 20 days after local-liver irradiation, did not produce necrotic liver damage until doses above 30 Gy were delivered. Warren and Whippple irradiated normal dogs' abdomens, including the liver, with an approximate 30 Gy dose and about 30 days later observed no evidence of histological injury or functional disturbance of the liver.

The present study sets to evaluate the significance of changes in liver wet and dry weights, protein, DNA, hydroxyproline, GPT/GOT ratios, and tryglyceride levels as a function of dose and time after high dose acute whole-liver irradiation. These longitudincal studies at four dose levels were designed to determine the temporal sequence of biochemical and possible cellular changes that lead to cell death as a result of radiation injury to the liver. by workign backwards from the time of death it may be possible to elucidate that biochemical steps in the development of radiation injury in the liver.