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J Proteome Res. 2014 Sep 5;13(9):4143-54. doi: 10.1021/pr5005295. Epub 2014 Aug 15.

Metabolic phenotyping reveals a lipid mediator response to ionizing radiation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University , Washington DC 20057, United States.


Exposure to ionizing radiation has dramatically increased in modern society, raising serious health concerns. The molecular response to ionizing radiation, however, is still not completely understood. Here, we screened mouse serum for metabolic alterations following an acute exposure to γ radiation using a multiplatform mass-spectrometry-based strategy. A global, molecular profiling revealed that mouse serum undergoes a series of significant molecular alterations following radiation exposure. We identified and quantified bioactive metabolites belonging to key biochemical pathways and low-abundance, oxygenated, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the two groups of animals. Exposure to γ radiation induced a significant increase in the serum levels of ether phosphatidylcholines (PCs) while decreasing the levels of diacyl PCs carrying PUFAs. In exposed mice, levels of pro-inflammatory, oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic acid increased, whereas levels of anti-inflammatory metabolites of omega-3 PUFAs decreased. Our results indicate a specific serum lipidomic biosignature that could be utilized as an indicator of radiation exposure and as novel target for therapeutic intervention. Monitoring such a molecular response to radiation exposure might have implications not only for radiation pathology but also for countermeasures and personalized medicine.

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