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Neurosci Lett. 2010 May 31;476(2):89-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.04.009. Epub 2010 Apr 10.

Aging attenuates radiation-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in rat brain.

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School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


The present study was designed to examine the effect of aging on radiation-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators in rat brain. Male F344xBN rats (4, 16, and 24 months of age) received either whole brain irradiation with a single dose of 10Gy gamma-rays or sham-irradiation, and were maintained for 4, 8, and 24h post-irradiation. The mRNA expression levels of various pro-inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, adhesion molecules, chemokine, and matrix metalloproteinase were analyzed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The acute inflammatory responses to irradiation, including overexpression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were markedly attenuated in the hippocampus of middle-aged and old rats compared with young groups. Specifically, a significant age-dependent decrease in TNF-alpha expression was detected 8 and 24h after irradiation and a similar age-related attenuation was observed in IL-1beta, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 expression 4 and 8h post-irradiation. MCP-1 expression was reduced 4h post-irradiation and MMP-9 expression at 8h post-irradiation. These results provide evidence for the first time that radiation-induced pro-inflammatory responses in the brain are suppressed in aged animals.

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