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Open Access Gastrointestinal Acute Radiation Syndrome in Göttingen Minipigs (Sus Scrofa Domestica)

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In the absence of supportive care, exposing Göttingen minipigs to γ-radiation doses of less than 2 Gy achieves lethality due to hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome. Doses of 2 to 5 Gy are associated with an accelerated hematopoietic syndrome, characterized by villus blunting and fusion, the beginning of sepsis, and a mild transient reduction in plasma citrulline concentration. We exposed male Göttingen minipigs (age, 5 mo; weight, 9 to 11 kg) to γ-radiation doses of 5 to 12 Gy (total body; 60Co, 0.6 Gy/min) to test whether these animals exhibit classic gastrointestinal acute radiation syndrome (GI-ARS). After exposure, the minipigs were monitored for 10 d by using clinical signs, CBC counts, and parameters associated with the development of the gastrointestinal syndrome. Göttingen minipigs exposed to γ radiation of 5 to 12 Gy demonstrate a dose-dependent occurrence of all parameters classically associated with acute GI-ARS. These results suggest that Göttingen minipigs may be a suitable model for studying GI-ARS after total body irradiation, but the use of supportive care to extend survival beyond 10 d is recommended. This study is the first step toward determining the feasibility of using Göttingen minipigs in testing the efficacy of candidate drugs for the treatment of GI-ARS after total body irradiation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Combined Injury Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 2: Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA 3: Veterinary Sciences Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 4: Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 5: Division of Comparative Pathology, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 6: Radiation Countermeasures Program, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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