Molecular and cellular profiling of acute responses to total body radiation exposure in ovariectomized female cynomolgus macaques.
PURPOSE: The threat of radiation exposure requires a mechanistic understanding of radiation-induced immune injury and recovery. The study objective was to evaluate responses to ionizing radiation in ovariectomized (surgically post-menopausal) female cynomolgus macaques. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Animals received a single total-body irradiation (TBI) exposure at doses of 0, 2 or 5 Gy with scheduled necropsies at 5 days, 8 weeks and 24 weeks post-exposure. Blood and lymphoid tissues were evaluated for morphologic, cellular, and molecular responses. RESULTS: Irradiated animals developed symptoms of acute hematopoietic syndrome, and reductions in thymus weight, thymopoiesis, and bone marrow cellularity. Acute, transient increases in plasma monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) were observed in 5 Gy animals along with dose-dependent alterations in messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) signatures in thymus, spleen, and lymph node. Expression of T cell markers was lower in thymus and spleen, while expression of macrophage marker CD68 (cluster of differentiation 68) was relatively elevated in lymphoid tissues from irradiated animals. CONCLUSIONS: Ovariectomized female macaques exposed to moderate doses of radiation experienced increased morbidity, including acute, dose-dependent alterations in systemic and tissue-specific biomarkers, and increased macrophage/T cell ratios. The effects on mortality exceeded expectations based on previous studies in males, warranting further investigation.
DeBo, RJ; Register, TC; Caudell, DL; Sempowski, GD; Dugan, G; Gray, S; Owzar, K; Jiang, C; Bourland, JD; Chao, NJ; Cline, JM
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