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Acute Radiation Syndrome in an Irradiated Minipig Model for Patients with Radiation Exposure

  • Jang, Hyosun (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Kim, Joong-sun (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Shim, Sehwan (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Jang, Won-seok (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Lee, Sun-Joo (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Myung, Jae Kyung (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Lee, Seung-Sook (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences) ;
  • Park, Sunhoo (Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences)
  • Received : 2016.12.20
  • Accepted : 2017.07.05
  • Published : 2017.09.30

Abstract

Background: Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) primarily refers to damage to the hematopoietic system, myeloid system, and gastrointestinal (GI) system caused by radiation exposure. Such damage progresses to become life-threatening. In particular, as the syndrome develops very rapidly-within several hours from radiation exposure-prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment are needed, as is further research into appropriate diagnostic and treatment modalities. Materials and Methods: Minipigs, which display human-like properties, underwent whole-body irradiation at 2 or 4 Gy (doses causing hematopoietic ARS) or at higher doses of 7 or 12 Gy. Changes in the blood cells and clinical symptoms were analyzed and we performed a necropsy when the animals succumbed to ARS. Results and Discussion: The minipig irradiated with 2 Gy showed a decrease in white blood cells, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and platelets in the early stages. However, the blood cell counts gradually increased and returned to normal values. The minipig irradiated with 4 Gy succumbed due to hematopoietic ARS. In contrast, the minipigs irradiated with 7 or 12 Gy exhibited clinical symptoms of combined GI damage and hematopoietic syndrome. Moreover, a characteristic pattern of platelet changes was observed in the 7 and 12 Gy irradiated minipigs. Conclusion: The changes in the platelet count caused by radiation exposure observed in minipigs, which are hematologically and pathohistologically similar to humans, suggest that they can be used as a novel diagnostic criterion.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences (KIRAMS)

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