The combined effects of reduced weightbearing and ionizing radiation on splenic lymphocyte population and function.
ABSTRACT The effects of radiation +/- hypogravity on immunologic function were investigated using the Partial Weight Suspension (PWS) model ( Wagner et al. 2010 ).
Mice were exposed to 0.5, 1, or 2 Gray (Gy) dose of gamma radiation and then placed in the PWS system for 4, 24, 48 hours, or 4 days. Spleens were excised and white blood cells were prepared for flow cytometry analyses.
The combination of PWS + radiation (1 and 2 Gy doses only) resulted in decreased cell viability at the 24 h (∼16% decrease), 48 h (∼20% decrease), and 4 day (∼20% decrease) time points, compared to the PWS (no radiation) and no treatment (non-suspended, non-irradiated) groups. The T lymphocyte (thymus-derived) population increased by ∼10% (24 h, 48 h, and 4 day time points), while the B lymphocyte (bursal or bone marrow-derived) population decreased by ∼10% (at all time points examined), when mice were exposed to PWS + radiation (2 Gy dose only), compared to the PWS or no treatment groups. T cell activation was observed in the PWS group and the 0.5 Gy +/- PWS groups at the 4 and 24 h time points, compared to the no treatment group. However, T cell activation was significantly suppressed (∼85%) at the acute time points in the 2 Gy +/- PWS groups, comparable to the no treatment group.
Ionizing radiation in the absence and presence of simulated hypogravity results in acute lymphocyte dysfunction and compromised immune response.