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The term radiation-induced bystander effect is used to describe radiation-induced biological changes that manifest in unirradiated cells remaining within an irradiated cell population. Despite their failure to fit into the framework of classical radiobiology, radiation-induced bystander effects have entered the mainstream and have become established in the radiobiology vocabulary as a bona fide radiation response. However, there is still no consensus on a precise definition of radiation-induced bystander effects, which currently encompasses a number of distinct signal-mediated effects. These effects are classified here into three classes: bystander effects, abscopal effects and cohort effects. In this review, the data have been evaluated to define, where possible, various features specific to radiation-induced bystander effects, including their timing, range, potency and dependence on dose, dose rate, radiation quality and cell type. The weight of evidence supporting these defining features is discussed in the context of bystander experimental systems that closely replicate realistic human exposure scenarios. Whether the manifestation of bystander effects in vivo is intrinsically limited to particular radiation exposure scenarios is considered. The conditions under which radiation-induced bystander effects are induced in vivo will ultimately determine their impact on radiation-induced carcinogenic risk.
Our earlier studies demonstrated the ability of l-arginine (l-Arg) to reverse radiation-induced immune dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to investigate cardiac dysfunction up to 24 h after 2 Gy of total-body irradiation (TBI) and its mitigation by l-Arg. The current studies also explore the association of radiation-induced inflammation and electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities. TBI-induced cardiac iNOS and kinin B1 R, changes in the ECG profile like bradycardia, increased RR interval, ST elevation and increased QRS duration at 4 h and 24 h after TBI. TBI with 2 Gy induced inflammatory responses in spleen and cardiac tissue. l-Arg administered 2 h after TBI (TBI l-Arg) mitigated the entire inflammatory response and ECG profile toward normalcy. l-Arg administered just before TBI (l-Arg TBI) could not reverse the above-mentioned changes. Radiation-induced inflammatory responses at 4 h and 24 h after TBI in spleen and cardiac tissue correlated with the changes in ECG profile at the corresponding time. The results suggest the ability of l-Arg administered at the correct therapeutic window to mitigate radiation-induced cardiac dysfunction at 4 and 24 h after TBI.
In the coming decades human space exploration is expected to move beyond low-Earth orbit. This transition involves increasing mission time and therefore an increased risk of radiation exposure from solar particle event (SPE) radiation. Acute radiation effects after exposure to SPE radiation are of prime importance due to potential mission-threatening consequences. The major objective of this study was to characterize the dose–response relationship for proton and γ radiation delivered at doses up to 2 Gy at high (0.5 Gy/min) and low (0.5 Gy/h) dose rates using white blood cell (WBC) counts as a biological end point. The results demonstrate a dose-dependent decrease in WBC counts in mice exposed to high- and low-dose-rate proton and γ radiation, suggesting that astronauts exposed to SPE-like radiation may experience a significant decrease in circulating leukocytes.
Glycyrrhizic acid has been shown to possess anti-inflammation, antiviral and chemoprotective activity against tumors. We evaluated the protective effects of glycyrrhizic acid in UVB-radiation-induced skin tumor formation in SKH-1 hairless mice and the early molecular biomarkers of these effects. Mice irradiated at 180 mJ/cm2 twice per week showed 100% tumor incidence in 20 weeks. Feeding with glycyrrhizic acid prior to UVB irradiation caused delays in tumor appearance, multiplicity and size. Feeding with glycyrrhizic acid for 2 weeks before a single UVB irradiation (180 mJ/cm2) resulted in significant decrease in UVB-radiation-induced thymine dimer-positive cells, expression of proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells, and apoptotic sunburn cells together with an increase in p53- and p21/Cip1-positive cell populations in epidermis. Simultaneously, glycyrrhizic acid also significantly inhibited NF-κ;B, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and nitric oxide (NO) levels. Thus glycyrrhizic acid ameliorates UVB-radiation-induced tumorigenesis via downregulation of cell proliferation controls involving thymine dimer, PCNA, apoptosis and transcription factor NF-κ;B and of inflammatory responses involving COX-2, PGE2 and NO while upregulating of p53 and p21/Cip1 to prevent DNA damage and facilitate DNA repair.
Changes in the expression of genes implicated in oxidative stress and in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and selected protein expression profiles in mouse skin were examined after exposure to low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate photon irradiation. ICR mice received whole-body γ rays to total doses of 0, 0.25, 0.5 and 1 Gy at dose rates of 50 cGy/h or 50 cGy/min. Skin tissues were harvested for characterization at 4 h after irradiation. For oxidative stress after low-dose-rate exposure, 0.25, 0.5 and 1 Gy significantly altered 27, 23 and 25 genes, respectively, among 84 genes assessed (P < 0.05). At doses as low as 0.25 Gy, many genes responsible for regulating the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were significantly altered, with changes >2-fold compared to 0 Gy. For an ECM profile, 18–20 out of 84 genes were significantly up- or downregulated after low-dose-rate exposure. After high-dose-rate irradiation, of 84 genes associated with oxidative stress, 16, 22 and 22 genes were significantly affected after 0.25, 0.5 and 1 Gy, respectively. Compared to low-dose-rate radiation, high-dose-rate exposure resulted in different ECM gene expression profiles. The most striking changes after low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate exposure on ECM profiles were on genes encoding matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), e.g., Mmp2 and Mmp15 for low dose rate and Mmp9 and Mmp11 for high dose rate. Immunostaining for MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins showed radiation dose rate-dependent differences. These data revealed that exposure to low total doses with low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate photon radiation induced oxidative stress and ECM-associated alterations in gene expression profiles. The expression of many genes was differentially regulated by different total dose and/or dose-rate regimens.
Cytoglobin is a recently identified vertebrate globin whose functions include scavenging reactive oxygen and nitrosative species. In tumor cells, CYGB may function as a tumor suppressor gene. Here we show that knockdown of cytoglobin expression can sensitize human glioma cells to oxidative stress induced by chemical inhibitors of the electron transport chain and as well can increase cellular radiosensitivity. When treated with antimycin A, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, cytoglobin-deficient cells showed significantly higher H2O2 levels, whereas H2O2 levels were significantly reduced in cytoglobin-overexpressing cells. In addition, cytoglobin knockdown significantly decreased the doubling time of glioma cell lines, consistent with a putative tumor suppressor function. These finding suggest that modulating cytoglobin levels may be a promising treatment strategy for sensitizing human glioma cells to oxidative stress that is induced by ionizing radiation, certain chemotherapies and ischemia-reperfusion.
Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) are endothelial progenitor cells that circulate at low concentration in human umbilical cord and adult peripheral blood and are largely resident in blood vessels. ECFCs not only appear to be critical for normal vascular homeostasis and repair but may also contribute to tumor angiogenesis and response to therapy. To begin to characterize the potential role of ECFCs during the treatment of tumors in children and adults with radiation, we characterized the X-ray sensitivity of cord and adult blood-derived ECFCs. We found both cord blood and adult ECFCs to be highly radiation sensitive (3 Gy resulted in >90% killing without induction of apoptosis). The X-ray survival curves suggested reduced potential for repair capacity, but X-ray fractionation studies demonstrated that all the ECFCs exhibited repair when the radiation was fractionated. Finally, the mechanisms of X-ray-induced cell death for cord blood and adult ECFCs were different at low and high dose. At low dose, all ECFCs appear to die by mitotic death/catastrophe. However, at high radiation doses (≥ 10Gy) cord blood ECFCs underwent p53 stabilization and Bax-dependent apoptosis as well as p21-dependent G1 and G2/M cell cycle checkpoints. By contrast, after 10 Gy adult ECFCs undergo only large-scale radiation-induced senescence, which is a cellular phenotype linked to premature development of atherosclerosis and vasculopathies. These data demonstrate that the ECFC response to radiation is dose-dependent and developmentally regulated and may provide potential mechanistic insight into their role in tumor and normal tissue response after ionizing radiation treatment.
Solar particle events (SPEs) present a major radiation-related risk for manned exploratory missions in deep space. Within a short period the astronauts may absorb doses that engender acute effects, in addition to the risk of late effects, such as the induction of cancer. Using primary human cells, we studied clonogenic survival and the induction of neoplastic transformation after exposure to a worst case scenario SPE. We simulated such an SPE with monoenergetic protons (50, 100, 1000 MeV) delivered at a dose rate of 1.65 cGy min−1 in a dose range from 0 to 3 Gy. For comparison, we exposed the cells to a high dose rate of 33.3 cGy min−1. X rays (100 kVp, 8 mA, 1.7 mm Al filter) were used as a reference radiation. Overall, we observed a significant sparing effect of the SPE dose rate on cell survival. High-dose-rate protons were also more efficient in induction of transformation in the dose range below 30 cGy. However, as dose accumulated at high dose rate, the transformation levels declined, while at the SPE dose rate, the number of transformants continued to increase up to about 1 Gy. These findings suggest that considering dose-rate effects may be important in evaluating the biological effects of exposure to space radiation. Our analyses of the data based on particle fluence showed that lethality and transforming potential per particle clearly increased with increasing linear energy transfer (LET) and thus with the decreasing energy of protons. Further, we found that the biological response was determined not only by LET but also type of radiation, e.g. particles and photons. This suggests that using γ or X rays may not be ideal for assessing risk associated with SPE exposures.
There is rapidly increasing information on the issue of three-dimensional nuclear architecture, according to which chromosomes are organized in localized territories and chromosome arms in exclusive domains within a given territory. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of different cell exposure conditions on cytogenetic damage induced by high-LET radiation. To this end the yield ratio of dicentrics to centric rings (F value) induced by 241Am α particles was analyzed in monolayer cultures of human lymphocytes that were either settled or attached to foils, simulating a rounded or spread out cellular geometry, respectively. Monolayers were exposed in special irradiation chambers to 0.1 and 1.0 Gy and subsequently analyzed for chromosome aberrations. Independent of these different dose levels, significantly different F values of 10.07 ± 1.73 and 4.27 ± 0.44 have been determined in attached and settled lymphocytes, respectively. Since the diameter of nuclei vertically traversed by α particles in attached cells is about one-half that in settled cells, these F values support the postulate that proximity effects regarding the chromatin geometry in flattened or spherical human lymphocytes influence the formation of high-LET radiation-induced dicentrics and centric rings. A comparison with our earlier data sets obtained for both in vitro and in vivo exposure of human lymphocytes to α particles or 137Cs γ rays supports the notion that the F value depends on the radiation quality when investigations are confined to spherical human lymphocytes. Thus the F value should not be ruled out as a practical chromosomal “fingerprint” for past exposure to high-LET radiation.
The radiation-induced bystander effect has been demonstrated in whole organisms as well as in multicellular tissues in vitro and single-cell culture systems in vitro. However, the time course of bystander signaling, especially in whole organisms, is not clear. Long-distance bystander/abscopal effects in vivo in plants have been demonstrated by our group. Plant grafting is a useful experimental tool for studying the root-shoot signaling of plants. In the present study, we developed a root micro-grafting technique with young seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana in which the bystander signaling communication of root-to-shoot could easily be stopped or started at specific times after root irradiation. Using this methodology, we demonstrated the time course of long-distance signaling in radiation-induced bystander effects at the level of the organism using the expression level of the AtRAD54 gene as a biological end point. Briefly, an 8-h accumulation of damage signals in bystander parts after irradiation was essential for eliciting a bystander response. The protraction of signal accumulation was not related to the transmission speed of signaling molecules in plants and did not result from the delayed initiation of bystander signals in targeted root cells. It was suggested that the bystander effect might be induced jointly by multiple bystander signals initiated at different stages after irradiation. Moreover, reactive oxygen species (ROS) were shown to be implicated in the response process of bystander cells to radiation damage signals rather than in the generation of bystander signals in targeted cells.
Updated analyses of mortality data are presented on 46,970 workers employed 1948–1999 at Rocketdyne (Atomics International). Overall, 5,801 workers were involved in radiation activities, including 2,232 who were monitored for intakes of radionuclides, and 41,169 workers were engaged in rocket testing or other non-radiation activities. The worker population is unique in that lifetime occupational doses from all places of employment were sought, updated and incorporated into the analyses. Further, radiation doses from intakes of 14 different radionuclides were calculated for 16 organs or tissues using biokinetic models of the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP). Because only negligible exposures were received by the 247 workers monitored for radiation activities after 1999, the mean dose from external radiation remained essentially the same at 13.5 mSv (maximum 1 Sv) as reported previously, as did the mean lung dose from external and internal radiation combined at 19.0 mSv (maximum 3.6 Sv). An additional 9 years of follow-up, from December 31,1999 through 2008, increased the person-years of observation for the radiation workers by 21.7% to 196,674 (mean 33.9 years) and the number of cancer deaths by 50% to 684. Analyses included external comparisons with the general population and the computation of standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and internal comparisons using proportional hazards models and the computation of relative risks (RRs). A low SMR for all causes of death (SMR 0.82; 95% CI 0.78–0.85) continued to indicate that the Rocketdyne radiation workers were healthier than the general population and were less likely to die. The SMRs for all cancers taken together (SMR 0.88; 95% CI 0.81–0.95), lung cancer (SMR 0.87; 95% CI 0.76–1.00) and leukemia other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (SMR 1.04; 95% 0.67–1.53) were not significantly elevated. Cox regression analyses revealed no significant dose–response trends for any cancer. For all cancers excluding leukemia, the RR at 100 mSv was estimated as 0.98 (95% CI 0.82–1.17), and for all leukemia other than CLL it was 1.06 (95% CI 0.50–2.23). Uranium was the primary radionuclide contributing to internal exposures, but no significant increases in lung and kidney disease were seen. The extended follow-up reinforces the findings in the previous study in failing to observe a detectable increase in cancer deaths associated with radiation, but strong conclusions still cannot be drawn because of small numbers and relatively low career doses. Larger combined studies of early workers in the United States using similar methodologies are warranted to refine and clarify radiation risks after protracted exposures.
Using an experimental model and PENELOPE Monte Carlo simulations, the effects of resin and amalgam on the absorbed doses in tooth enamel were studied to evaluate the feasibility of using restored teeth in electron spin resonance (ESR) dose reconstruction. The model consisted of a phantom containing a plate of these restorative materials placed between powered enamel layers exposed to X rays and a 60Co beam. The experimental results and simulations agreed, showing that the attenuation produced by amalgam and resin with a thickness of 1, 2, and 4 mm is similar to that produced by the enamel itself in the case of the radiation sources employed. For X rays and 60Co γ radiation the attenuation reached almost 100% and 40%, respectively. These results show that for ESR dose reconstruction, the use of all available enamel of a tooth leads to errors in the estimated dose due to attenuation effects in both healthy and restored teeth. Thus the importance of an enamel selection from different sides of the tooth surface to apply ESR dose reconstruction in the case of a practical situation is shown.
Space radiation damage in ZnO induced by subthreshold electrons was studied through reflectance spectra, electron paramagnetic resonance, and photoluminescence. Owing to the vacuum freezing treatment, perturbed singly ionized zinc vacancies (V′Zn−), chemisorbed species, and electrons in the conduction band and/or bound to shallow donor levels were observed. V′Zn− is due to the ionization and the ionization-induced diffusion processes and is most likely responsible for the 420-nm absorption band. These results also support that the green luminescence in ZnO is related to zinc vacancies.
This study extends earlier findings of the authors demonstrating that meloxicam, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 2, supports hematopoietic recovery in sublethally irradiated mice and is radioprotective when given before irradiation. We report here that when meloxicam was administered in a single dose 1 h after a lethal 9-Gy whole-body dose, an increased 30-day survival was achieved. Additional studies showed that administration of meloxicam 24 h after lethal irradiation is ineffective and its repeated administration deleterious. Possible mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of meloxicam administered early after irradiation are discussed.