Structural and Functional Parameters of the Thymus in Mice Exposed to γ-Irradiation after Restraint Stress
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In mice exposed to γ-irradiation in a dose of 2 Gy after 15-days restraint stress, the body weight decreased by 21% and thymus weight decreased by 33.3% in comparison with the control, and significant changes in the histological structure of the thymus were observed. The medullary substance prevailed over the cortical substance. The absolute number of cells per 1 mm2 of histological section was reduced in the subcapsular area and medullary substance. The analysis of cell composition in functional areas of the thymus showed the most pronounced changes in the cortical substance. The decrease in the number of proliferating cells and low-differentiated lymphocytes and the increase in the number of destructed cells reflected impairment of the lymphocytopoietic function of the thymus. A minor decrease in the number of small lymphocytes indicated impaired migration processes in the thymus of mice exposed to γ-irradiation after restraint stress. The observed complex of histological and physiological changes in the thymus can lead to dysfunction of the lymphatic (immune) system.
Key Wordsthymus irradiation restraint stress hypokinesia space flight factors
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