Protection through Parabiosis against the Lethal Effects of Exposure to Large Doses of X-Rays

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Science  19 May 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3777, pp. 954-955
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3777.954


Parabiotic rat pairs with a skin-vascular anastomosis were used to test whether shielding of one member of the pair would protect the irradiated partner against exposure to very large doses of x-rays (1200 to 2400 roentgens). Except with the lowest dose, all unshielded, irradiated pairs or single irradiated animals died before 5 days had elapsed. In contrast, irradiated rats that had a shielded parabiont partner survived the 5-day period and many survived beyond 30 days. This is interpreted as protection against the acute intestinal death that normally occurs in the dose range investigated.