Potential of dark-striped field mice, Apodemus agrarius coreae, for use as a biological radiation dosimeter for human environments

Authors

  • Hee-sun Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Radiation Health Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation, 388–1, Ssangmun-dong, Dobong-gu, Seoul 132–703, Korea
    • Radiation Health Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation, 388–1, Ssangmun-dong, Dobong-gu, Seoul 132–703, Korea
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  • Yoshikazu Nishimura,

    1. National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 4–9–1, Anagawa, Inage, Chiba 263–8555, Japan
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  • Chong-soon Kim

    1. Radiation Health Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation, 388–1, Ssangmun-dong, Dobong-gu, Seoul 132–703, Korea
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Abstract

This study examined the possibility of using striped field mice as a biological dosimeter or indicator for surveillance of the ecological effects of boundary radiation emitted by nuclear power plants. For this study, the external morphological characteristics and isoenzymic electrophoretypes of Korean domestic dark-striped field mice were studied after they were captured, controlled for reproduction, and their exact species were identified. In terms of morphological external characteristics, the dark-brown coat, dark back stripe, head-to-tail length, tail length, and ear length matched the taxonomical characteristics of dark-striped field mice. In terms of isoenzymic electrophoretypes, the analyses on l-lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and malate dehydrogenase revealed that one species of dark-striped field mice, called Apodemus agrarius coreae, was scattered throughout a wide range of habitats. On the other hand, after irradiating the A. a. coreae (0, 0.5, 1, 3, 5, and 7 gray [Gy]) to analyze their survival rate and frequency of micronuclei in peripheral polychromatic erythrocytes, their LD50/30 was approximately 5 Gy. Also, the mice that contained 1 or 3 Gy gained weight compared with those that contained 0.5 Gy. Moreover, those with 0.5 Gy and higher showed an increase in white blood cells and platelets as well as in sodium and creatinine. However, decreased concentrations of alkaline phosphatase, alanine animotransferase, calcium, phosphorus, and globulin were observed in the A. a. coreae after irradiation. The results of the study reveal that wild A. a. coreae mice have high potential as a biological monitoring system to determine radiation effects in human environments such as those within the vicinity of nuclear power plants.

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