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Radiation-induced cell death: importance of lysosomal destabilization.


ABSTRACT: The mechanisms involved in radiation-induced cellular injury and death remain incompletely understood. In addition to the direct formation of highly reactive hydroxyl radicals (HO*) by radiolysis of water, oxidative stress events in the cytoplasm due to formation of H2O2 may also be important. Since the major pool of low-mass redox-active intracellular iron seems to reside within lysosomes, arising from the continuous intralysosomal autophagocytotic degradation of ferruginous materials, formation of H2O2 inside and outside these organelles may cause lysosomal labilization with release to the cytosol of lytic enzymes and low-mass iron. If of limited magnitude, such release may induce 'reparative autophagocytosis', causing additional accumulation of redox-active iron within the lysosomal compartment. We have used radio-resistant histiocytic lymphoma (J774) cells to assess the importance of intralysosomal iron and lysosomal rupture in radiation-induced cellular injury. We found that a 40 Gy radiation dose increased the 'loose' iron content of the (still viable) cells approx. 5-fold when assayed 24 h later. Cytochemical staining revealed that most redox-active iron was within the lysosomes. The increase of intralysosomal iron was associated with 'reparative autophagocytosis', and sensitized cells to lysosomal rupture and consequent apoptotic/necrotic death following a second, much lower dose of radiation (20 Gy) 24 h after the first one. A high-molecular-mass derivative of desferrioxamine, which specifically localizes intralysosomally following endocytic uptake, added to the culture medium before either the first or the second dose of radiation, stabilized lysosomes and largely prevented cell death. These observations may provide a biological rationale for fractionated radiation.

SUBMITTER: Persson HL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1180739 | BioStudies | 2005-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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