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Analysis of immune cell populations and cytokine profiles in murine splenocytes exposed to whole-body low-dose irradiation.

International journal of radiation biology (2015-07-03)
Kyung-Hee Song, Mi-Hyoung Kim, Seong-Mook Kang, Seung-Youn Jung, Jiyeon Ahn, Hee-Jong Woo, Seon Young Nam, Sang-Gu Hwang, Sang-Young Ryu, Jie-Young Song
ABSTRACT

In contrast to high-dose therapeutic irradiation, definitive research detailing the physiological effects of low-dose irradiation is limited. Notably, the immunological response elicited after low-dose irradiation remains controversial. Female C57BL/6 mice were whole- body-irradiated with a single or three daily fractions up to a total dose of 0.1, 1, or 10 cGy. Blood and spleen were harvested 2, 7 and 14 days after irradiation. The splenic CD4(+) T cell subpopulations were temporarily increased at 2 days after single or fractionated irradiation, whereas the percentage of dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages was decreased. Whereas CD8(+) T cell populations were decreased in single-dose irradiated mice at day 7, early and sustained reduction of CD8(+) T cell numbers was observed in fractionated- dose-irradiated mice from day 2 until day 14. In addition, single-dose irradiation resulted in a Th1 cytokine expression profile, whereas fractionated-dose irradiation drove a Th2 shift. Additionally, increased expression of immune-related factors was observed at early time-points with single-dose irradiation, in contrast to the dose-independent induction following fractionated-dose irradiation. Our results demonstrate that low-dose irradiation modulates the immune response in mice, where the sensitivity and kinetics of the induced response vary according to the dosing method.

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