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Characterization of Early and Late Damage in a Mouse Model of Pelvic Radiation Disease

TitleCharacterization of Early and Late Damage in a Mouse Model of Pelvic Radiation Disease
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsVitali, Roberta, Palone Francesca, De Stefano Ilaria, Fiorente C., Novelli Flavia, Pasquali Emanuela, Fratini Emiliano, Tanori Mirella, Leonardi Simona, Tanno Barbara, Colantoni Eleonora, Soldi S., Galletti S., Grimaldi M., Morganti A.G., Fuccio L., Pazzaglia Simonetta, Pioli Claudio, Mancuso Mariateresa, and Vesci L.
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences

Pelvic radiation disease (PRD), a frequent side effect in patients with abdominal/pelvic cancers treated with radiotherapy, remains an unmet medical need. Currently available preclinical models have limited applications for the investigation of PRD pathogenesis and possible therapeutic strategies. In order to select the most effective irradiation protocol for PRD induction in mice, we evaluated the efficacy of three different locally and fractionated X-ray exposures. Using the selected protocol (10 Gy/day × 4 days), we assessed PRD through tissue (number and length of colon crypts) and molecular (expression of genes involved in oxidative stress, cell damage, inflammation, and stem cell markers) analyses at short (3 h or 3 days after X-ray) and long (38 days after X-rays) post-irradiation times. The results show that a primary damage response in term of apoptosis, inflammation, and surrogate markers of oxidative stress was found, thus determining a consequent impairment of cell crypts differentiation and proliferation as well as a local inflammation and a bacterial translocation to mesenteric lymph nodes after several weeks post-irradiation. Changes were also found in microbiota composition, particularly in the relative abundance of dominant phyla, related families, and in alpha diversity indices, as an indication of dysbiotic conditions induced by irradiation. Fecal markers of intestinal inflammation, measured during the experimental timeline, identified lactoferrin, along with elastase, as useful non-invasive tools to monitor disease progression. Thus, our preclinical model may be useful to develop new therapeutic strategies for PRD treatment. © 2023 by the authors.


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Citation KeyVitali2023a