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Exp Ther Med. 2012 Aug;4(2):273-276. Epub 2012 May 18.

Anti-IL-6 receptor antibody does not ameliorate radiation pneumonia in mice.

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  • 1Departments of Radiation Oncology.


We previously showed that early administration of monoclonal anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody (IL-6RA) does not prevent radiation-induced lung injury in mice. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a higher dose and longer course of IL-6RA treatment was effective in ameliorating radiation pneumonia. C57Bl/6J mice received thoracic irradiation of 12 Gy, and were intraperitoneally injected with the IL-6RA, namely MR16-1, or with control rat IgG 4 times, once immediately following exposure and then weekly from 1 to 3 weeks after irradiation. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to analyze the plasma levels of IL-6 and serum amyloid A (SAA). Lung injury was assessed by histological staining with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and by measuring wet lung weight. We observed marked upregulation of IL-6 in IL-6RA-treated mice compared to the IgG-treated control group, whereas IL-6RA did not increase the production of SAA in the group receiving irradiation. However, radiation pneumonia, as evaluated by H&E staining and lung weight showed no differences between the IL-6RA-treated mice and the controls. Long-term treatment with high-dose IL-6RA does not ameliorate radiation pneumonia.

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