Diagnosis of partial body radiation exposure in mice using peripheral blood gene expression profiles.


In the event of a terrorist-mediated attack in the United States using radiological or improvised nuclear weapons, it is expected that hundreds of thousands of people could be exposed to life-threatening levels of ionizing radiation. We have recently shown that genome-wide expression analysis of the peripheral blood (PB) can generate gene expression profiles that can predict radiation exposure and distinguish the dose level of exposure following total body irradiation (TBI). However, in the event a radiation-mass casualty scenario, many victims will have heterogeneous exposure due to partial shielding and it is unknown whether PB gene expression profiles would be useful in predicting the status of partially irradiated individuals. Here, we identified gene expression profiles in the PB that were characteristic of anterior hemibody-, posterior hemibody- and single limb-irradiation at 0.5 Gy, 2 Gy and 10 Gy in C57Bl6 mice. These PB signatures predicted the radiation status of partially irradiated mice with a high level of accuracy (range 79-100%) compared to non-irradiated mice. Interestingly, PB signatures of partial body irradiation were poorly predictive of radiation status by site of injury (range 16-43%), suggesting that the PB molecular response to partial body irradiation was anatomic site specific. Importantly, PB gene signatures generated from TBI-treated mice failed completely to predict the radiation status of partially irradiated animals or non-irradiated controls. These data demonstrate that partial body irradiation, even to a single limb, generates a characteristic PB signature of radiation injury and thus may necessitate the use of multiple signatures, both partial body and total body, to accurately assess the status of an individual exposed to radiation.





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Publication Info

Meadows, Sarah K, Holly K Dressman, Pamela Daher, Heather Himburg, J Lauren Russell, Phuong Doan, Nelson J Chao, Joseph Lucas, et al. (2010). Diagnosis of partial body radiation exposure in mice using peripheral blood gene expression profiles. PLoS One, 5(7). p. e11535. 10.1371/journal.pone.0011535 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4550.

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Nelson Jen An Chao

Donald D. and Elizabeth G. Cooke Cancer Distinguished Research Professor

My research interests are in two broad areas, clinical hematopoietic stem cell and cord blood transplantation and in the laboratory studies related to graft vs. host disease and immune reconstitution. On the clinical side we are currently conducting approximately 50 different clinical protocols ranging from preparatory regimens, supportive care studies and disease specific protocols. Most of these clinical studies are centered around studies of the sources of stem cells and the methods to improve the long term outcome. There are exploratory protocols for novel therapies such as dendritic cell therapy for several malignancies, antiangiogenesis therapy, graft engineering to prevent graft-versus-host disease and antigen specific T cells or non specific NK cells to prevent relapse. Moreover a strong focus of the program is to develop cord-blood transplantation for adult patients with hematologic malignancies. The laboratory studies center on understanding the immunological events that occur with graft-vs-host disease and methods to prevent this disease. The current efforts focus on understanding murine reconstitution following transplantation, use of a peptide polymer to block MHC class II recognition of minor histocompatibility antigens, use of T cell engineering to prevent graft-versus-host disease at the same time preserving a graft-versus-malignancy effect.

For more information see http://ed-media.mc.duke.edu/BMT.nsf

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