Van der Meeren, A., Monti, P., Vandamme, M., Squiban, C., Wysocki, J. and Griffiths, N. Abdominal Radiation Exposure Elicits Inflammatory Responses and Abscopal Effects in the Lungs of Mice. Radiat. Res. 163, 144–152 (2005).
An inflammatory reaction is a classical feature of radiation exposure and appears to be a key event in the development of the acute radiation syndrome. We have investigated the radiation-induced inflammatory response in C57BL6/J mice after total abdominal or total-body irradiation at a dose of 15 Gy. Our goal was to determine the radiation-induced inflammatory response of the gut and to study the consequences of abdominal irradiation for the intestine and for the lungs as a distant organ. A comparison with total-body irradiation was used to take into account the hematopoietic response in the inflammatory process. For both irradiation regimens, systemic and intestinal responses were evaluated. A systemic inflammatory reaction was found after abdominal and total-body irradiation, concomitant with increased cytokine and chemokine production in the jejunum of irradiated mice. In the lungs, the radiation-induced changes in the production of cytokines and chemokines and in the expression of adhesion molecules after both abdominal and total-body irradiation indicate a possible abscopal effect of radiation in our model. The effects observed in the lungs after irradiation of the abdomino-pelvic region may be caused by circulating inflammatory mediators consequent to the gut inflammatory response.