3 years ago

Low-dose radiation accelerates aging of the T-cell receptor repertoire in CBA/Ca mice

Christophe Badie, Natalie Brown, Rosemary Finnon, Serge M. Candéias, Joanna Polanska, Simon Bouffler, Tom Verbiest, Paul Finnon, Justyna Mika


While the biological effects of high-dose-ionizing radiation on human health are well characterized, the consequences of low-dose radiation exposure remain poorly defined, even though they are of major importance for radiological protection. Lymphocytes are very radiosensitive, and radiation-induced health effects may result from immune cell loss and/or immune system impairment. To decipher the mechanisms of effects of low doses, we analyzed the modulation of the T-cell receptor gene repertoire in mice exposed to a single low (0.1 Gy) or high (1 Gy) dose of radiation. High-throughput T-cell receptor gene profiling was used to visualize T-lymphocyte dynamics over time in control and irradiated mice. Radiation exposure induces “aging-like” effects on the T-cell receptor gene repertoire, detectable as early as 1 month post-exposure and for at least 6 months. Surprisingly, these effects are more pronounced in animals exposed to 0.1 Gy than to 1 Gy, where partial correction occurs over time. Importantly, we found that low-dose radiation effects are partially due to the hematopoietic stem cell impairment. Collectively, our findings show that acute low-dose radiation exposure specifically results in long-term alterations of the T-lymphocyte repertoire.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2581-2

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-017-2581-2

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