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Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Johnson TE;Hartman PS

Citation: Journal of Gerontology 43: B137-B141 1988


Genes: rad-1 rad-2 rad-3 rad-4 rad-5 rad-6 rad-7

Abstract: Wild-type and radiation-sensitive (Rad) mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans were irradiated using a 137Cs source (2.7 krads/min.) at several developmental stages and subsequently monitored for life span. Acute doses of radiation ranged from 1 krad to 300 krads. All stages required doses above 100 krads to reduce mean life span. Dauers and third stage larvae were more sensitive, and 8-day-old adults were the most resistant. Occasional statistically significant but nonrepeatable increases in survival were observed after intermediate levels of irradiation (10-30 krads). Unirradiated rad-4 and rad-7 had life spans similar to wild-type; all others had a significant reduction in survival. The mutants were about as sensitive as wild-type to the effects of ionizing radiation including occasional moderate life span extensions at intermediate doses. We conclude that the moderate life span extensions sometimes observed after irradiation are likely to be mediated by a means other than the induction of DNA repair enzymes.