A Historical Perspective on the Therapy of Total-Body Radiation Injury

  • Eugene P. Cronkite


A brief look at previous research will show how we arrived where we are today. Shielding and transplantation of bone marrow were initiated long ago. In 1912, Chiarit demonstrated that bone marrow of the rabbit grew when transplanted into the spleen only when the spleen was shielded from irradiation. Fabricius-Moller2 showed in 1922 that shielding portions of the skeleton prevented a decline in the number of blood platelets and consequently prevented radiation hemorrhage. In 1951, Jacobson et al.3 attained nearly 100-percent protection from lethal doses of radiation when the mouse spleen was shielded. In 1951, Brecher and Cronkite4 showed that shielding of one parabiotic rat protected the other rat from fatal irradiation. These studies clearly demonstrated that protecting the spleen of the mouse or the bone marrow of the guinea pig prevented the sequelae of marrow aplasia, and that some protective substance or cells circulated from the nonirradiated parabiont to the irradiated parabiont. Lorenz et al.5 proved in 1952 that the protection was from cells located in the bone marrow or spleen, because one could protect mice from lethal irradiation by transfusing marrow cells or spleen cells in the mouse. Ford et al.6 proved in 1956, by using a marker chromosome, that transplantation of donor hematopoietic cells had occurred.


Hematopoietic Stem Cell Radiation Injury Atomic Bomb Radiation Accident Depth Dose Curve 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene P. Cronkite
    • 1
  1. 1.E. P. CRONKITE, Medical DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA

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