Long far after nuclear weapons tests the veterans of special risk subdivisions (SRS) had changes of humoral factors of nonspecific protection, concentration of immunoglobulins in blood serum, lymphocytes sensibleness to respiratory viruses, humoral and cellular autoimmune displacements, raise of turmonecrotic factor content. Some of the revealed changes (complement, lysocim, concentration of immunoglobulins) are bound up with elderly age of examined people and their diseases. The other changes (autoimmune displacements, sensibleness to respiratory viruses) can be bound up with nuclear weapons tests. Some immunology changes occur because of radiation and non-radiation factors, a nervous shock being among them. Estimate of autoimmune changes is important for the health characteristic 20-40 years after nuclear tests and possible radiation influence. The role of such changes is significant in a sick rate of the veterans of special risk subdivisions.
A retrospective analysis of the experimental researches on the effect of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health, carried out in the USSR, is presented. The results of chronic exposure of laboratory animals to EMF have been considered. Apparently, EMF in the range of 1750-2750 MHz with power density up to 100-500 W/cm2 caused in immune globullin fractions, and a development of autoimmune processes. The changes in parameters of reproductive functions and posterity, the increase in embryo mortality were found. The standartization strategy used in the USSR and currently applied in Russia has been discussed.
The goal of the study was to assess the state of immunity in exposed residents of the Techa riverside villages 50 years, or more, after the onset of radiation exposure. 127 chronically exposed persons and 55 unexposed persons were studied. The mean dose to red bone marrow (RBM) was 0.69 Sv in exposed subjects, the mean dose to soft tissue was 0.07 Sv, the mean dose rate amounted to 0.10 Sv/yr to RBM and 0.02 Sv/yr to soft tissues in 1950. The state of the basic links of the immunity system (cellular, humoral, mononuclear phagocyte system, cytokine spectrum, etc.) was assessed using conventional methods. Exposed persons manifested a significant reduction in the absolute counts of CD3+, CD4+, CD 11b+, CD16+ lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, as well as an increase in the relative counts of CD8+. The group comprised of the Techa riverside residents demonstrated an increased immunoregulatory index (exposed individuals: 1.47; controls: 1.71, p = 0.001). An increased production of Immunoglobulin A and increased proportions of CD25+ lymphocytes were revealed in exposed individuals. Changes in the phagocytic activity of neutrophils and monocytes were insignificant, and were primarily associated with changes in the proportions of pagocytes in the peripheral blood stream. The state of the immunity in chronically exposed individuals at late time after the begin of exposure is characterized by a number of specific features reflected primarily on the cellular immunity. No relationship between immunity changes and accumulated exposure dose and dose rate were noted over the period of maximum radiation exposures (1950).
Seasonal changes in day length enhance or suppress immune function in individuals of several mammalian species. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) are long-day breeders that adjust reproductive physiology and behavior, body mass, and immune function following exposure to short photoperiods. Photoperiods of intermediate-duration, encountered in nature by juvenile hamsters born in early-spring and by those born in mid-summer, trigger gonadal development in the former cohort and inhibit the onset of puberty in the latter. Divergent reproductive responses to the same intermediate photoperiod depend on a photoperiod history, communicated during gestation. These experiments assessed whether photoperiod history during gestation likewise impacts immunological responses to intermediate photoperiods. Male hamsters were gestated in long photoperiods and remained in long photoperiods postnatally, or were transferred to an intermediate-duration or a short-duration photoperiod; other males were gestated in short days and transferred to an intermediate-duration photoperiod at birth. Long days stimulated, and short days inhibited, somatic and reproductive development; intermediate day lengths either accelerated or inhibited somatic and reproductive development, depending on whether hamsters were gestated in short days or long days, respectively. By contrast, photoperiod during gestation did not affect most immune endpoints. The data suggest that photoperiodic mechanisms that enhance and suppress several aspects of immunity in young-adult hamsters are not responsive to prenatally communicated photoperiod history information.
It is shown that external as well as incorporated radiation inhibit the endocrine function of the thymus in the result of the direct and indirect effects. Postradiation deficiency of thymic hormones plays a significant role in pathogenesis of functional disorders in the immunity system. Immunocorrection with thymic agents is the most effective method when the mechanism of inhibition of thymic hormonal function are taken into account.
The examination of 286 subjects exposed to radiation hazards when taking part in liquidation of the Chernobyl accident aftereffects was performed to compare persons living under ecologically unfavourable conditions (significant air pollution due to heavy industry) against those living in relatively comfortable environment. It was found that immune status of the former displayed imbalance. In the latter immunity was much less damaged. The findings suggest a conclusion on the role of environmental factors in immunological disturbances in subjects exposed to small doses of ionizing radiation.