Low-dose Radiation Induces Antitumor Effects and Erythrocyte System Hormesis

  • Yu, Hong-Sheng (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Liu, Zi-Min (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Yu, Xiao-Yun (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Song, Ai-Qin (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Liu, Ning (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University) ;
  • Wang, Hao (Department of Oncology, the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Qingdao University)
  • Published : 2013.07.30


Objective: Low dose radiation may stimulate the growth and development of animals, increase life span, enhance fertility, and downgrade the incidence of tumor occurrence.The aim of this study was to investigate the antitumor effect and hormesis in an erythrocyte system induced by low-dose radiation. Methods: Kunming strain male mice were subcutaneously implanted with S180 sarcoma cells in the right inguen as an experimental in situ animal model. Six hours before implantation, the mice were given 75mGy whole body X-ray radiation. Tumor growth was observed 5 days later, and the tumor volume was calculated every other day. Fifteen days later, all mice were killed to measure the tumor weight, and to observe necrotic areas and tumor-infiltration-lymphoreticular cells (TILs). At the same time, erythrocyte immune function and the level of 2,3-diphosphoglyceric acid (2,3-DPG) were determined. Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expression of EPO and VEGFR of tumor tissues. Results: The mice pre-exposed to low dose radiation had a lower tumor formation rate than those without low dose radiation (P < 0.05). The tumor growth slowed down significantly in mice pre-exposed to low dose radiation; the average tumor weight in mice pre-exposed to low dose radiation was lighter too (P < 0.05). The tumor necrosis areas were larger and TILs were more in the radiation group than those of the group without radiation. The erythrocyte immune function, the level of 2,3-DPG in the low dose radiation group were higher than those of the group without radiation (P < 0.05). After irradiation the expression of EPO of tumor tissues in LDR group decreased with time. LDR-24h, LDR-48h and LDR-72h groups were all statistically significantly different from sham-irradiation group. The expression of VEGFR also decreased, and LDR-24h group was the lowest (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Low dose radiation could markedly increase the anti-tumor ability of the organism and improve the erythrocyte immune function and the ability of carrying $O_2$. Low-dose total body irradiation, within a certain period of time, can decrease the expression of hypoxia factor EPO and VEGFR, which may improve the situation of tumor hypoxia and radiosensitivity of tumor itself.


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