Radiation research

A preclinical rodent model of acute radiation-induced lung injury after ablative focal irradiation reflecting clinical stereotactic body radiotherapy.

PMID 24937781


In a previous study, we established an image-guided small-animal micro-irradiation system mimicking clinical stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). The goal of this study was to develop a rodent model of acute phase lung injury after ablative irradiation. A radiation dose of 90 Gy was focally delivered to the left lung of C57BL/6 mice using a small animal stereotactic irradiator. At days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14 after irradiation, the lungs were perfused with formalin for fixation and paraffin sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Masson's trichrome. At days 7 and 14 after irradiation, micro-computed tomography (CT) images of the lung were taken and lung functional measurements were performed with a flexiVent™ system. Gross morphological injury was evident 9 days after irradiation of normal lung tissues and dynamic sequential events occurring during the acute phase were validated by histopathological analysis. CT images of the mouse lungs indicated partial obstruction located in the peripheral area of the left lung. Significant alteration in inspiratory capacity and tissue damping were detected on day 14 after irradiation. An animal model of radiation-induced lung injury (RILI) in the acute phase reflecting clinical stereotactic body radiotherapy was established and validated with histopathological and functional analysis. This model enhances our understanding of the dynamic sequential events occurring in the acute phase of radiation-induced lung injury induced by ablative dose focal volume irradiation.