Inhibiting Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 Mitigates the Hematopoietic Acute Radiation Syndrome in a Sex- and Strain-dependent Manner in Mice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The Radiation and Nuclear Countermeasures Program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) mandated that medical countermeasures for treating Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) must have efficacy when administered at least 24 h after radiation exposure. At this time point, many cells within key target tissues, such as the hematopoietic system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, will already be dead. Therefore, drugs that promote the regeneration of surviving cells may improve outcomes. The serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) regulates stem and progenitor cell self-renewal and regeneration in the hematopoietic and GI compartments. We tested inhibition of GSK-3β by SB216763 24 h after total body irradiation (TBI) and sub-total body irradiation (SBI). Here, we show that subcutaneous administration of SB216763 promotes the regeneration of surviving hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), including myeloid progenitor cells, and improves survival of C57Bl/6 male mice when administered 24 h after TBI. However, these results were not recapitulated in female C57Bl/6 animals, suggesting a sex difference in GSK-3β signaling in HSPCs. Subcutaneous administration of SB216763 in male mice stimulated activation of Sox2 transcription but failed to induce Sox2 transcription in female C57Bl/6 mice. Using TCF/lef-GFP reporter mice, we examined Wnt signaling in HSPCs of irradiated male and female mice treated with SB216763. GSK-3 inhibition elevated Wnt reporter activity in HSPCs isolated from male but not female mice. SB216763 did not mitigate hematopoietic ARS in males or females of a second strain of wild-type mice, C3H. In addition, administration of SB216763 did not mitigate hematopoietic ARS beyond the currently available standard approved therapy of ciprofloxacin and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in male C57Bl/6 mice. Further, SB216763 did not mitigate GI-ARS after SBI in C57Bl/6 male mice. The lack of efficacy in both sexes and multiple strains of mice indicate that SB216763 is not suitable for further drug development as a mitigator of ARS. Our studies demonstrate that activation of Wnt signaling in HSPCs promotes hematopoietic regeneration following radiation exposure, and targeting this pathway downstream of GSK-3β may mitigate ARS in a sex- and strain-independent manner.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Daniel, AR; Lee, C-L; Oh, P; Luo, L; Ma, Y; Kirsch, DG

Published Date

  • September 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 315 - 321

PubMed ID

  • 32175929

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7398824

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-5159

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/HP.0000000000001243


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States