Abstract-The effects of low-dose single and continuous whole-body irradiation on immune functions were studied in C57BL/6 mice. Plaque-forming cell reaction of the spleen was found to be stimulated by single doses of x rays in the range of 0.025 to 0.075 Gy and by continuous exposure to gamma rays with a cumulative dose of 0.065 Gy. The reactivity of thymocytes to interleukin 1 showed a dose-dependent depression in the dose range of 0.025 to 0.25 Gy, but there was an increase in cell number in the thymus between doses of 0.025 and 0.10 Gy, resulting in enhancement of reaction of the whole organ. Unscheduled DNA synthesis of spleen cells was stimulated by single irradiation with 0.05 Gy and continuous irradiation with a cumulative dose of 0.13 Gy. The implications of these immunologic changes under low-dose radiation are discussed.
©1987Health Physics Society