Cardiovascular Toxicology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 33–40 | Cite as

Chronic Contamination of Rats with 137Cesium Radionuclide: Impact on the Cardiovascular System

  • Yann Guéguen
  • Philippe Lestaevel
  • Line Grandcolas
  • Cédric Baudelin
  • Stéphane Grison
  • Jean-René Jourdain
  • Patrick Gourmelon
  • Maâmar Souidi
Article

Abstract

Cardiovascular system impairment has been observed in children and in liquidators exposed to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. No experimental studies of animals have analyzed whether these disorders might be attributed to chronic ingestion of low levels of cesium 137 (137Cs). Biochemical, physiological, and molecular markers of the cardiovascular system were analyzed in rats exposed through drinking water to 137Cs at a dose of 500 Bq kg−1 (6500 Bq l−1). Plasma concentrations of CK and CK-MB were higher (+52%, P < 0.05) in contaminated rats. No histological alteration of the heart was observed, but gene expression was modified in the atria. Specifically, levels of ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) and BNP (brain natriuretic peptide) gene expression increased significantly (P < 0.05). ECG analysis did not disclose any arrhythmia except ST- and RT-segment shortening (−9% and −11%, respectively, P < 0.05) in rats exposed to 137Cs. Mean blood pressure decreased (−10%, P < 0.05), and its circadian rhythm disappeared. Overall, chronic contamination by an extreme environmental dose of 137Cs for 3 months did not result in cardiac morphological changes, but the cardiovascular system impairments we observed could develop into more significant changes in sensitive animals or after longer contamination.

Keywords

Cesium 137 Cardiovascular system ECG Markers Chernobyl Blood pressure Animals 

Abbreviations

ACE

Angiotensin converting enzyme

ANF

Atrial natriuretic factor

BNP

Brain natriuretic peptide

137Cs

Cesium

CK

Creatine kinase

CYP

Cytochrome P450

ECG

Electrocardiogram

ET

Endothelin

LDH

Lactate dehydrogenase

SERCA

Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase

T3

Triiodothyronine

T4

Thyroxine

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

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Copyright information

© Humana Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yann Guéguen
    • 1
  • Philippe Lestaevel
    • 1
  • Line Grandcolas
    • 1
  • Cédric Baudelin
    • 1
  • Stéphane Grison
    • 1
  • Jean-René Jourdain
    • 2
  • Patrick Gourmelon
    • 1
  • Maâmar Souidi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Direction de la RadioProtection de l’Homme, Service de Radiobiologie et d’Epidémiologie, Laboratoire de RadioToxicologie ExpérimentaleFontenay-aux-Roses CedexFrance
  2. 2.Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Direction de la RadioProtection de l’Homme, Service de Dosimétrie interneFontenay-aux-Roses CedexFrance

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