Radon dosimetry based on the depth distribution of nuclei in human and rat lungs.
Calculation of the absorbed dose by different lung cells is necessary for predicting the critical cells that are subject to injury from inhaled Rn and other alpha-particle sources. The absorbed dose was determined for cells in the airways of human and rat lungs, based on airway epithelial thickness and on cell cytoplasm and nuclear volume density as a function of depth from the luminal surface of the airway epithelium. The thickness of the stratified columnar epithelium of human airways varied from 57.8 micron in bronchi to 9.8 microns in bronchioles. The cell populations of all bronchi in human lungs were comparable. The cell populations of trachea and intrapulmonary airways in rats, however, were significantly different. Basal cell populations in rat trachea and human bronchi were similar and formed a nearly continuous layer. In rat bronchi, basal cells were not present in significant numbers. Measurements of epithelial thickness and volume density were used to estimate the absorbed dose for an alpha-particle source (214Po or 218Po) distributed uniformly in the mucus with an equivalent activity of 1 dpm per cm2 of epithelial surface. The following model predictions of dose to human bronchial epithelial cell nuclei for a 218Po alpha-particle source are provided in units of nanogray (nGy) for specific cell types: secretory 158, preciliated 114, ciliated 44, goblet 86, basal 78, and indeterminate cell nuclei 73. The absorbed dose to specific types of rat bronchial epithelial cell nuclei was also predicted: secretory 237, precillated 216, ciliated 203, goblet 204, basal 200, and indeterminate cell nuclei 166 nGy. These and other results indicate that human and rat airway dosimetry have significant differences that may contribute to the differences in cancer cell induction between the two species.
Mercer, RR; Russell, ML; Crapo, JD
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