The effects of whole body x-irradiation on the fine structure of sympathetic neurons were studied in 15 unanesthetized adult frogs (Rana pipiens), as seen at intervals ranging from 1 hour to 2 weeks after single exposures to 1000 r and 2000 r. Using standard procedures, the lumbar sympathetic ganglia of experimental and 20 control animals were prepared for electron microscope examination. Radiation produced conspicuous but irregular and variable deterioration, swelling, and clearing of neuronal lysosomes. These changes may have been due to an increased permeability of lysosomal membranes, causing the entry of fluid into lysosomes and their swelling and deterioration, but a pronounced escape of lysosomal enzymes into the cytoplasm was questionable. Less frequent were the dilatation and the parallel layering or complete fusion and tight packing of the rough-edged endoplasmic reticulum. The number of vacuoles, probably derived from Golgi cisternae, was somewhat increased. These vacuoles were conjectured to serve the "sequestration" of damaged cytoplasmic areas. Abnormal amounts of presumptive glycogen granules occupied some axons of myelinated and unmyelinated fibers, especially of presynaptic nerve fibers. This was assumed to be due to a decreased breakdown of glycogen and probably caused the interruption of the transmission of nerve impulses in presynaptic fibers. The maximal incidence of these alterations seemingly occurred 8 days after exposure to 1000 r, and 1 hour after x-irradiation with 2000 r. Signs of recovery appeared 2 weeks after exposure to 2000 r.

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