The protective effect of recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor on radiation-induced pulmonary toxicity in rats.
PURPOSE: Radiation-induced lung toxicity is a significant dose-limiting side effect of radiotherapy for thoracic tumors. Recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor (rHuKGF) has been shown to be a mitogen for type II pneumocytes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rHuKGF prevents or ameliorates the severity of late lung damage from fractionated irradiation in a rat model. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Female Fisher 344 rats were irradiated to the right hemithorax with a dose of 40 Gy/5 fractions/5 days. rHuKGF at dose of 5 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg was given via a single intravenous injection 10 min after the last fraction of irradiation. Animals were followed for 6 months after irradiation. RESULTS: The breathing rate increased beginning at 6 weeks and reached a peak at 14 weeks after irradiation. The average breathing frequencies in the irradiated groups with rHuKGF (5 mg/kg and 15 mg/kg) treatment were significantly lower than that in the group receiving radiation without rHuKGF (116.5 +/- 1.0 and 115.2 +/- 0.8 vs 123.5 +/- 1.2 breaths/min, p < 0.01). The severity of lung fibrosis and the level of immunoreactivity of integrin alphavbeta6, TGFbeta1, type II TGFbeta receptor, Smad3, and phosphorylated Smad2/3 were significantly decreased only in the group receiving irradiation plus high-dose rHuKGF treatment compared with irradiation plus vehicle group, suggesting a dose response for the effect of rHuKGF. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to demonstrate that rHuKGF treatment immediately after irradiation protects against late radiation-induced pulmonary toxicity. These results suggest that restoration of the integrity of the pulmonary epithelium via rHuKGF stimulation may downregulate the TGF-beta-mediated fibrosis pathway. These data also support the use of rHuKGF in a clinical trial designed to prevent radiation-induced lung injury.
Chen, L; Brizel, DM; Rabbani, ZN; Samulski, TV; Farrell, CL; Larrier, N; Anscher, MS; Vujaskovic, Z
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