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Radiat Res. 2014 Dec;182(6):674-82. doi: 10.1667/RR13630.1.

TLR4-dependent immune response promotes radiation-induced liver disease by changing the liver tissue interstitial microenvironment during liver cancer radiotherapy.

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a  Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.


Liver tissue interstitial fluid (TIF) a special microenvironment around liver cells, which may play a vital role in cell communication during liver injury. Moreover, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is an important trigger of the immune response that may also play a role in liver injuries, including radiation-induced liver disease (RILD). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the roles of the TLR4-dependent immune response and TIFs in RILD after radiation therapy (RT) for liver cancer. This study consisted of two phases, and in the primary phase, the livers of TLR4 mutant (TLR4(-)) and normal (TLR4(+)) mice were irradiated with 30 Gy. TIF was then obtained from mouse livers and assessed by cytokine array analysis 20 days after irradiation, and cytokines in the TIFs, TLR4 and RILD were analyzed. In the second or validation phase, hepatocytes were isolated from TLR4(+) or TLR4(-) mice irradiated with 8 Gy and were co-cultured with TIFs from mouse livers, apoptosis of the hepatocytes was then measured using flow cytometry. We found that severe RILD was accompanied by higher expression of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2(VEGFR-2) in liver TIFs, from in TLR4(+) mice compared with TLR4(-) mice (P < 0.05). In both TLR4(+) and TLR4(-) hepatocytes, apoptosis after irradiaton was increased significantly after co-culture in TIFs from TLR4(+) mice that had their livers irradiated, compared with TIFs from TLR4(-) mice that had their livers irradiated or TIFs from unirradiated mice (P < 0.05). In summary, these findings indicate that the TLR4-dependent immune response may promote RILD by enhancing the expression of GM-CSF, VEGFR-2 and TRAIL in liver TIFs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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