Abstract

We examined dose–dependent or dose rate–dependent changes of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity using a new large-scale facility for exposing small animals to radon. Mice were exposed to radon at a concentration of 250, 500, 1000, 2000, or 4000 Bq/m3 for 0.5, 1, 2, 4, or 8 days. When mice were exposed to radon at 2000 day•Bq/m3, activation of SOD activities in plasma, liver, pancreas, heart, thymus, and kidney showed dose–rate effects. Our results also suggested that continuous exposure to radon increased SOD activity, but SOD activity transiently returned to normal levels at around 2 days. Moreover, we classified the organs into four groups (1. plasma, brain, lung; 2. heart, liver, pancreas, small intestine; 3. kidney, thymus; 4. stomach) based on changes in SOD activity. Thymus had the highest responsiveness and stomach had lowest. These data provide useful baseline measurements for future studies on radon effects.