Influence of sublethal total-body irradiation on immune cell populations in the intestinal mucosa.
ABSTRACT: The intestinal immune system is the largest in the body. This study analyzed changes in intestinal immune cell populations, cytokine protein levels, and transcript profiles after total-body irradiation (TBI) in CD2F1 mice. A single dose of 8.0 Gy gamma radiation caused negligible 30-day lethality but induced significant histological damage in jejunal mucosa that was maximal at 3.5 days and that had seemingly recovered by day 21 after irradiation. These changes were accompanied by decreased numbers of mucosal macrophages, neutrophils, and B and T lymphocytes, mostly coinciding with similar reductions in peripheral blood cell counts. Recovery of mucosal macrophages occurred within 1 week, whereas mucosal granulocytes and lymphocytes remained low until 3 weeks after TBI. Maximal suppression of T-helper cell (T(H))-related transcripts occurred at 3.5 days, but there was no obvious T(H)1 or T(H)2 bias. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling revealed a preponderance of differentially regulated genes involved in cell cycle control, cell death and DNA repair between 4 h and 3.5 days after irradiation. Genes involved in tissue recovery predominated from day 7 onward. We conclude that the intestinal immune system undergoes profound changes after sublethal TBI and that these changes likely contribute to postirradiation pathophysiological manifestations.
Project description:Natural antioxidant gamma-tocotrienol (GT3), a vitamin E family member, provides intestinal radiation protection. We seek to understand whether this protection is mediated via mucosal epithelial stem cells or sub-mucosal mesenchymal immune cells. Vehicle- or GT3-treated male CD2F1 mice were exposed to total body irradiation (TBI). Cell death was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Villus height and crypt depth were measured with computer-assisted software in tissue sections. Functional activity was determined with an intestinal permeability assay. Immune cell recovery was measured with immunohistochemistry and Western blot, and the regeneration of intestinal crypts was assessed with ex vivo organoid culture. A single dose of GT3 (200 mg/kg body weight (bwt)) administered 24 h before TBI suppressed cell death, prevented a decrease in villus height, increased crypt depth, attenuated intestinal permeability, and upregulated occludin level in the intestine compared to the vehicle treated group. GT3 accelerated mesenchymal immune cell recovery after irradiation, but it did not promote ex vivo organoid formation and failed to enhance the expression of stem cell markers. Finally, GT3 significantly upregulated protein kinase B or AKT phosphorylation after TBI. Pretreatment with GT3 attenuates TBI-induced structural and functional damage to the intestine, potentially by facilitating intestinal immune cell recovery. Thus, GT3 could be used as an intestinal radioprotector.
Project description:Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) substantially improves 10-day survival after total body irradiation (TBI), consistent with an effect on intestinal radiation death. Total body irradiation, in addition to injuring the intestinal epithelium, also perturbs the mucosal immune system, the largest immune system in the body. This study focused on how transplanted bone marrow cells (BMCs) help restore mucosal immune cell populations after sublethal TBI (8.0 Gy). We further evaluated whether transplanted BMCs: (a) home to sites of radiation injury using green fluorescent protein labeled bone marrow; and (b) contribute to restoring the mucosal barrier in vivo. As expected, BMT accelerated recovery of peripheral blood (PB) cells. In the intestine, BMT was associated with significant early recovery of mucosal granulocytes (P = 0.005). Bone marrow transplantation did not affect mucosal macrophages or lymphocyte populations at early time points, but enhanced the recovery of these cells from day 14 onward (P = 0.03). Bone marrow transplantation also attenuated radiation-induced increase of intestinal CXCL1 and restored IL-10 levels (P = 0.001). Most importantly, BMT inhibited the post-radiation increase in intestinal permeability after 10 Gy TBI (P = 0.02) and modulated the expression of tight junction proteins (P = 0.01-0.05). Green fluorescent protein-positive leukocytes were observed both in intestinal tissue and in PB. These findings strongly suggest that BMT, in addition to enhancing general hematopoietic and immune system recovery, helps restore the intestinal immune system and enhances intestinal mucosal barrier function. These findings may be important in the development and understanding of strategies to alleviate or treat intestinal radiation toxicity.
Project description:Background:Radiation-induced intestinal injury is one of the side effects in patients receiving radiotherapy. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effect of XH-103 on radiation-induced small intestinal injury and to explore its mechanism. Methods:C57BL/6N mice were irradiated and treated with XH-103. Firstly, the survival rate of mice exposed to 9.0?Gy and 11.0?Gy total body irradiation (TBI) was examined. Subsequently, at 3.5?d after IR, the small intestinal morphological changes were examined by HE. The numbers of crypt cells, the villus height, the expression of Ki67 and Lgr5, and the apoptotic cells in the intestinal crypts were examined by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, the expression of p53 and Bax was analyzed by WB. Results:Compared to the irradiation group, XH-103 improved the mice survival rate, protected the intestinal morphology of mice, decreased the apoptotic rate of intestinal crypt cells, maintained cell regeneration, and promoted crypt proliferation and differentiation. XH-103 also reduced the expression of p53 and Bax in the small intestine compared to the IR group. Conclusion:These data demonstrate that XH-103 can prevent radiation-induced intestinal injury, which is beneficial for the protection of radiation injuries.
Project description:Crypt epithelial survival and regeneration after injury require highly coordinated complex interplay between resident stem cells and diverse cell types. The function of Dclk1 expressing tuft cells regulating intestinal epithelial DNA damage response for cell survival/self-renewal after radiation-induced injury is unclear. Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) were isolated and purified and utilized for experimental analysis. We found that small intestinal crypts of VillinCre;Dclk1f/f mice were hypoplastic and more apoptotic 24?h post-total body irradiation, a time when stem cell survival is p53-independent. Injury-induced ATM mediated DNA damage response, pro-survival genes, stem cell markers, and self-renewal ability for survival and restitution were reduced in the isolated intestinal epithelial cells. An even greater reduction in these signaling pathways was observed 3.5 days post-TBI, when peak crypt regeneration occurs. We found that interaction with Dclk1 is critical for ATM and COX2 activation in response to injury. We determined that Dclk1 expressing tuft cells regulate the whole intestinal epithelial cells following injury through paracrine mechanism. These findings suggest that intestinal tuft cells play an important role in regulating the ATM mediated DNA damage response, for epithelial cell survival/self-renewal via a Dclk1 dependent mechanism, and these processes are indispensable for restitution and function after severe radiation-induced injury.
Project description:The ability of simvastatin to mitigate the increases in risk factors for and the occurrence of cardiac disease after 10 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) was determined. This radiation dose is relevant to conditioning for stem cell transplantation and threats from radiological terrorism. Male rats received single dose TBI of 10 Gy. Age-matched, sham-irradiated rats served as controls. Lipid profile, heart and liver morphology and cardiac mechanical function were determined for up to 120 days after irradiation. TBI resulted in a sustained increase in total- and LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol), and triglycerides. Simvastatin (10 mg/kg body weight/day) administered continuously from 9 days after irradiation mitigated TBI-induced increases in total- and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as liver injury. TBI resulted in cellular peri-arterial fibrosis, whereas control hearts had less collagen and fibrosis. Simvastatin mitigated these morphological injuries. TBI resulted in cardiac mechanical dysfunction. Simvastatin mitigated cardiac mechanical dysfunction 20-120 days following TBI. To determine whether simvastatin affects the ability of the heart to withstand stress after TBI, injury from myocardial ischemia/reperfusion was determined in vitro. TBI increased the severity of an induced myocardial infarction at 20 and 80 days after irradiation. Simvastatin mitigated the severity of this myocardial infarction at 20 and 80 days following TBI. It is concluded simvastatin mitigated the increases in risk factors for cardiac disease and the extent of cardiac disease following TBI. This statin may be developed as a medical countermeasure for the mitigation of radiation-induced cardiac disease.
Project description:Radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity is among the most prevalent dose-limiting toxicities following radiotherapy. Prevention of radiation enteropathy requires protection of the small intestine. However, despite the prevalence and burden of this pathology, there are currently no effective treatments for radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity, and this pathology remains unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the changes induced in the rat small intestine after external irradiation of the tongue, and to explore the potential radio-protective effects of melatonin gel. Male Wistar rats were subjected to irradiation of their tongues with an X-Ray YXLON Y.Tu 320-D03 irradiator, receiving a dose of 7.5 Gy/day for 5 days. For 21 days post-irradiation, rats were treated with 45 mg/day melatonin gel or vehicle, by local application into their mouths. Our results showed that mitochondrial oxidative stress, bioenergetic impairment, and subsequent NLRP3 inflammasome activation were involved in the development of radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity. Oral treatment with melatonin gel had a protective effect in the small intestine, which was associated with mitochondrial protection and, consequently, with a reduced inflammatory response, blunting the NF-?B/NLRP3 inflammasome signaling activation. Thus, rats treated with melatonin gel showed reduced intestinal apoptosis, relieving mucosal dysfunction and facilitating intestinal mucosa recovery. Our findings suggest that oral treatment with melatonin gel may be a potential preventive therapy for radiotherapy-induced gut toxicity in cancer patients.
Project description:PURPOSE:To evaluate the acute changes in leukocyte populations after focal irradiation and to assess the role of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in acute and late radiation injury. METHODS AND MATERIALS:Mice were surgically implanted with a radiopaque marker on the surface of the small intestine. Mice were then imaged with cone beam computed tomography to locate the marker and irradiated with 18 Gy of 5 × 5 mm collimated x-rays onto the marked intestine using the Small Animal Radiation Research Platform. Intestinal sections and blood were harvested 1, 3.5, 7, and 14 days and 2 months postirradiation (post-IR) for histology and complete blood count, respectively. Immune cell populations were assessed by immunofluorescence in the acute phase. Collagen deposition was assessed 2 months post-IR. IL-6<sup>-/-</sup> intestinal sections were assessed post-IR for morphology, EdU, Ki67, and TUNEL in comparison to IL-6<sup>+/+</sup> mice. Furthermore, a set of IL-6<sup>+/+</sup> mice were treated with anti-IL-6R to assess the role of IL-6 in late intestinal injury. RESULTS:Intestinal radiation damage peaked 14 days post-IR, and fibrosis had developed by 60 days post-IR. There was a marked infiltration of immune cells into the irradiated intestine, with increased neutrophils, macrophages, B-cells, and CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells maintained from 3.5 to 14 days post-IR. CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells were decreased from days 7 to 14 post-IR. Systemically, leukocytes were increased in the peripheral blood 14 days post-IR with anemia being maintained from 14 days to 2 months. IL-6 was significantly increased in the serum post-IR. IL-6<sup>-/-</sup> mice demonstrated worsened intestinal injury acutely post-IR. Moreover, anti-IL-6R-treated mice presented with worsened intestinal fibrosis 2 months post-IR. CONCLUSIONS:Focal irradiation of the intestine produced a significant increase in immune cells in the irradiated area and systemic inflammation and anemia. Blockade of IL-6 signaling was found to exacerbate acute intestinal injury and late intestinal injury after focal irradiation.
Project description:The gastrointestinal (GI) syndrome component of acute radiation syndrome (ARS) results from depletion of immature parenchymal stem cells after high dose irradiation and contributes significantly to early mortality. It is associated with severe, irreparable damage in the GI tract and extremely low survival. There is a need for the development of viable mitigators of whole body irradiation (WBI) due to the possibility of unexpected high level radiation exposure from nuclear accidents or attacks. We therefore examined the effect of recombinant human milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (rhMFG-E8) in mitigating damage after WBI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 10 Gy WBI using Cesium-137 as the radiation source. The animals in the treatment group received rhMFG-E8 (166 µg/kg BW) subcutaneously once a day with the first dose given 6 h after WBI. Blood and tissue samples from the ileum were collected after 3 days of treatment. A separate cohort of animals was treated for 7 days and the 21 day mortality rate was determined. Treatment with rhMFG-E8 significantly improved the survival from 31% to 75% over 21 days. Furthermore, rhMFG-E8 treatment resulted in a 36% reduction in the radiation injury intestinal mucosal damage score, corresponding to visible histological changes. MFG-E8 gene expression was significantly decreased in WBI-induced animals as compared to sham controls. Treatment with rhMFG-E8 increased p53 and p21 expression by 207% and 84% compared to untreated controls. This was accompanied by an 80% increase in the expression of anti-apoptotic cell regulator Bcl-2. p53 and p21 levels correlate with improved survival after radiation injury. These cell regulators arrest the cell after DNA damage and enable DNA repair as well as optimize cell survival. Taken together, these results indicate that rhMFG-E8 ameliorates the GI syndrome and improves survival after WBI by minimizing intestinal cell damage and optimizing recovery.
Project description:Dysfunction of the intestinal epithelial barrier and leakage of luminal antigens and bacteria across the barrier have been linked to various human diseases. Intestinal permeability is regulated by intercellular structures, termed "tight junction" (Tj), which are disrupted after total-body irradiation (TBI). In this study, we investigated radiation-induced alterations in Tj-related proteins in the jejunum, ileum and colon of a non-human primate (NHP) model. NHPs were total-body irradiated with 6.7 and 7.4 Gy and intestines were procured at day 4, 7 and 12. Radiation exposure was found to induce significant increases in claudin-10 mRNA early (day 4) in all three gut segments and claudin-4 mRNA levels were repressed through day 12. TNF-alpha was highly induced in the jejunum and colon at early time points, but little induction was found in the ileum. Claudin-1 was induced only in the colon on day 4 postirradiation. Unlike the colon and jejunum, the ileum levels of claudin-7 were significantly downregulated through day 12 postirradiation. Western blot analysis revealed increased levels of claudin-2 on day 4 and of JAM-1 on day 7 postirradiation in all three gut segments. E-cadherin was downregulated on day 4 postirradiation in all segments, but remained reduced in the jejunum only until day 12. Taken together, these data suggest that exposure to radiation causes segment-specific alterations in the expression of Tj-related proteins. Interruption of Tjs may be a key factor contributing to injury to the intestinal mucosal barrier and increased intestinal permeability.
Project description:LncRNAs have been reported to play an important role in various diseases. However, their role in the radiation-induced intestinal injury is unknown. The goal of the present study was to analyse the potential mechanistic role of lncRNAs in the radiation-induced intestinal injury. Mice were divided into two groups: Control (non-irradiated) and irradiated. Irradiated mice were administered 14 Gy of abdominal irradiation (ABI) and were assessed 3.5 days after irradiation. Changes to the jejuna of ABI mice were analysed using RNA-Seq for alterations to both lncRNA and mRNA. These results were validated using qRT-PCR. LncRNAs targets were predicted based on analysis of lncRNAs-miRNAs-mRNAs interaction. 29 007 lncRNAs and 17 142 mRNAs were detected in the two groups. At 3.5 days post-irradiation, 91 lncRNAs and 57 lncRNAs were significantly up- and downregulated respectively. Similarly, 752 mRNAs and 400 mRNAs were significantly up- and downregulated respectively. qRT-PCR was used to verify the altered expression of four lncRNAs (ENSMUST00000173070, AK157361, AK083183, AK038898) and four mRNAs (Mboat1, Nek10, Ccl24, Cyp2c55). Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses indicated the predicted genes were mainly involved in the VEGF signalling pathway. This study reveals that the expression of lncRNAs was altered in the jejuna of mice post-irradiation. Moreover, it provides a resource for the study of lncRNAs in the radiation-induced intestinal injury.