INTRODUCTION: X-rays are very important as an imaging tool in the medical diagnosis and treatment of diseases. However, it causes cell damage and death by inducing DNA damage and apoptosis in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain associated with many cognitive functions, especially memory. X-rays cause cell death by stimulating apoptosis in the hippocampus. In the current study, the effects of X-rays on the number of hippocampal pyramidal cells were investigated.
METHODS: A total of 30 rats in three groups were used in the study (n=10). Control group (C); X-ray was not applied. Neonatal group (N); Immediately after birth, newborn rats were exposed to a once-daily non-lethal dose (diagnostic) 8 Gy X-ray for one week. Prenatal+Neonatal group (PN); Pregnant rats were exposed to 8 Gy non-lethal X-rays once daily from the twelfth day of gestation, and newborn rats were exposed to 8 Gy non-lethal X-rays once daily for one week after birth. Hippocampal pyramidal cell numerical density was calculated by physical dissector counting method. In addition, MDA, SOD and CAT levels were measured in the brain.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the numerical density of hippocampal pyramidal cells was significantly decreased in both the N group and the PN group. While MDA level increased in N and PN groups, CAT level decreased. There was no change in SOD level between groups.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The findings of our study reveal that X-rays reduce the number of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus and therefore may have negative effects on learning and memory.