Author(s): Nagata T
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Abstract A new concept, termed "radioautographology" is advocated and its contents are reviewed. This term is the coinage synthesized from "radioautography" and "(o)logy", expressing a new science derived from radioautography. The concept of radioautographology (RAGology) is a science to localize the radioactive substances in the biological structure of the objects and to analyze and to study the significance of these substances in the biological structure. On the other hand, the old term radioautography (RAG) or autoradiography (ARG) is the technique to demonstrate the pattern of localization of various radiolabeled compounds in biological specimens. The specimens used in biology and medicine are cells and tissues. They are fixed, sectioned and made contact with the radioautographic emulsions, exposed and developed to produce metallic silver grains. Such specimens are designated as radioautographs (or autoradiographs) and the patterns of pictures made of silver grains are named radioautograms. Those people who produced radioautographs were formerly named radioautographers (or autoradiographers) who were only technicians, while those who study RAGology are not technicians but scientists and should be called as radioautographologists. The science of radioautographology was developed in the 20th century and can be divided into two parts, general radioautographology and special radioautographology, as most natural sciences usually can. The general radioautographology is the technology of RAG which consists of 3 fields of sciences, physics concerning radioactivity, histochemistry treating the cells and tissues and photochemistry dealing with the photographic emulsions. The special radioautographology, on the other hand, consists of applications of general radioautographology to various biological and medical sciences. The applications can be classified into several scientific fields, i.e., cellular molecular biology, anatomy, histology, embryology, pathology and pharmacology. Studies carried out in our laboratory were summarized and reviewed. The results obtained from the technology includes 4-dimensional structures of the organs taking the time dimension into account by labeling cells and localizing the sites of incorporation, synthesis, discharge of the labeled compounds in connection with the time lapse and aging of animals. All the results obtained from such applications should be systematized as a new filed of science in the future in the 21st century.
This article was published in Prog Histochem Cytochem
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research