Submitted to: Physica Medica (European Journal of Medical Physics)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2000
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Citation: Rabin, B. M., Shukitt-Hale, B., Joseph, J. A., and Denisova, N. Effects of exposure to 56Fe particles on the acquisition of a conditioned place preference in rats. Physica Medica 2001, 17 (Suppl. 1): 196-197.
Technical Abstract: Exposure to low doses of 56Fe particles produces changes in neural function and behavior. The present experiments were designed to examine the effects of irradiation on the acquisition of a dopamine-mediated conditioned place preference (CPP). In the CPP procedure, rats are given an injection of the dopamine agonist amphetamine in one distinctive compartment and a saline injection in a different compartment of a three-compartment apparatus. Control rats develop a preference for the amphetamine-paired compartment. In contrast, rats exposed to 1 Gy of 56Fe particles fail to develop a similar preference. The results of the experiment indicate that exposure to low doses of heavy particles can disrupt the neural mechanisms that mediate the reinforcement of behavior. Interestingly, additional experiments have shown that the dopamine system may be affected in other brain areas such as the striatum leading to deficits in spartial learning and motor function similar to those seen in aging.