Environmental Enclosures

Constructed of relatively simple materials.

Dimensions. 1m x 0.67m x 0.67m

Untreated lumber. We used untreated western red cedar. Insect and weather resistant.

0.64cm wire mesh

Hinged top for easy access

Placed in one of the most environmentally radioactive regions in the world.

Field Applications of a Traditional Laboratory Model System, the Mouse (Mus domesticus)


Jeffrey K. Wickliffe1, Brenda E. Rodgers1, Ronald K. Chesser1,3, Carleton J. Phillips1, Sergey Gaschak3, Igor Shohalevytch4, Igor Chizhevsky4, and Robert J. Baker1,2

1Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, U.S.A.

2Natural Science Research Laboratory, Lubbock, TX, U.S.A.

3International Radioecology Laboratory, Slavutych, UA

4Chornobyl Scientific and Technical Center for International Research, UA

Experimental Endpoints

Micronucleus Formation

Micronucleus Induction in Big Blue®

20,000 reticulocytes scored per individual (n=8)

Cells scored using the microflow™ flow cytometric assay

Biological Systems

Laboratory model systems, Mus domesticus (3 strains), have been employed.

  • BALB/c

  • C57BL/6

  • Transgenics

Big Blue® hemizygous

Fed standard laboratory feed ad libitum. Supplied with water ad libitum.

Radionuclides were internally deposited in measurable concentrations in all strains.

Exposure and dose for radiocesium estimated using whole body counts.

Mitochondrial DNA Heteroplasmy

Sampled each individual twice (n=28)

Day 0-Preintroduction (reference)

Day 39-subchronic exposure

Assessed mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy in 400 base pairs of the cytochrome b gene. 50 gene copies per individual.

No mutations observed in 80,000 base pairs examined to date (n=4 [n=2 subchronically exposed])

lacI Transgene Analysis

Following recommended protocol for blue plaque screen.

Uptake curves demonstrating the internal deposition of radiocesium (134,137Cs) in enclosed Mus.

Dose reported in milliGray (mGy)


  • packaged genomic DNA from five individuals

  • titered packaging reactions

  • plated phage on SCS-8 assay trays

Minisatellite Mutation Rates

Southern analysis of families conceived in enclosures

  • 3 minisatellite probes (Jeffreys)

  • HM-1, HM-2, MMS-10 (multilocus)

  • genomic DNA isolated from parents and offspring and digested with AluI

  • probes successfully labeled and hybridized



U. S. Department of Energy, U.S.A.

International Radioecology Laboratory, UA

Ministry of Emergency Situations, UA

Texas GAP Analysis Program, Wildlife and Fisheries Coop Unit, U.S.A.


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