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Brain Signaling and Behavioral Responses Induced by Exposure to ${}^{56}{\rm Fe}\text{-Particle}$ Radiation

N. A. Denisova, B. Shukitt-Hale, B. M. Rabin and J. A. Joseph
Radiation Research
Vol. 158, No. 6 (Dec., 2002), pp. 725-734
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3580733
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Brain Signaling and Behavioral Responses Induced by Exposure to ${}^{56}{\rm Fe}\text{-Particle}$ Radiation
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Abstract

Previous experiments have demonstrated that exposure to ${}^{56}{\rm Fe}\text{-Particle}$ irradiation (1.5 Gy, 1 GeV) produced aging-like accelerations in neuronal and behavioral deficits. Astronauts on long-term space flights will be exposed to similar heavy-particle radiations that might have similar deleterious effects on neuronal signaling and cognitive behavior. Therefore, the present study evaluated whether radiation-induced spatial learning and memory behavioral deficits are associated with region-specific brain signaling deficits by measuring signaling molecules previously found to be essential for behavior [presynaptic vesicle proteins, synaptobrevin and synaptophysin, and protein kinases, calcium-dependent PRKCs (also known as PKCs) and PRKA (PRKA RIIβ)]. The results demonstrated a significant radiation-induced increase in reference memory errors. The increases in reference memory errors were significantly negatively correlated with striatal synaptobrevin and frontal cortical synaptophysin expression. Both synaptophysin and synaptobrevin are synaptic vesicle proteins that are important in cognition. Striatal PRKA, a memory signaling molecule, was also significantly negatively correlated with reference memory errors. Overall, our findings suggest that radiation-induced pre-synaptic facilitation may contribute to some previously reported radiation-induced decrease in striatal dopamine release and for the disruption of the central dopaminergic system integrity and dopamine-mediated behavior.

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