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Purpose : To investigate clusterin expression in the acini and ductal cells of rat submandibular glands after Co-60 gamma irradiation.Materials and Methods : The male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing approximately 250 gm were divided intocontrol and experimental groups. The experimental group was irradiated with a single absorbed dose of 2, 5, 10, and 15 Gy on the head and neck region. All the rats were sacrificed at 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after irradiation. The specimens including the submandibular gland were sectioned and observed using a immunohistochemical method.Results : In the 2 Gy group, clusterin expression was similar to that of the control group at 1 day after irradiation and it was observed in the striated ductal cells at 3 days after irradiation. In the 5 Gy group, clusterin expression was observed in the striated ductal cells at 1 day after irradiation and gradually increased in the 10 and 15 Gy groups. In the 15 Gy group, clusterin expression was prominent in the striated ductal cells at 1 day after irradiation, but it gradually decreased with the experimental period. The destruction of the striated ductal cells was observed in the 2 Gy group at 21 days after irradiation and in the 5, 10, and 15 Gy groups at 7 days after irradiation. The destruction of the acinar cells was observed in the 2 Gy group at 28 days after irradiation and in the 5, 10, and 15 Gy groups at 14 days after irradiation.Conclusion : Clusterin expression was induced by low doses of irradiation and it appeared to be involved in the regulation of cellular response to irradiation. (Korean J Oral Maxillofac Radiol 2006; 36 : 33-40)