FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Gazda MJ , Schultheiss TE , Stephens LC , Ang KK , Peters LJ
The relationship between apoptosis and atrophy in the irradiated lacrimal gland
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1992 ;24(4) :693-697
Back to previous list
Atrophy is generally considered to be a true late effect of radiation. However, in serous glands, atrophy was thought to be a consequential late effect because serous cells die within hours of irradiation and the apparent effects of atrophy are observed contemporaneously with radiation treatment. Therefore, to determine the pathogenesis of atrophy in serous glands, it is necessary to differentiate between parenchymal loss as a result of direct radiation death of serous cells and parenchymal loss as a result of serous cell death that is secondary to fibrosis, vascular damage, or precursor cell death. The lacrimal glands of 62 rhesus monkeys have been irradiated to single doses of 2.5 to 20 Gy and examined at intervals of 4 hr to 112 days postirradiation. Serous cells (nuclei) and acini were counted in at least 30 high power fields per (dose, time) point. At each dose and time of sacrifice, the average number of nuclei per acinus and the average number of acini per high power field were calculated. Also at each dose and time, the distribution of the number of nuclei per acinus was examined to determine how the frequency of acinar sizes changed as a function of irradiation. The number of cells per acinus appears to rise initially, but this is likely a result of the degranulated cells being physically smaller, yielding an artificially higher count. Within 4 days after 12.5 Gy, the average number of nuclei per acinus approaches control values and remains within the range of controls for at least 112 days. The number of acini per high power field decreases steadily for 30 days after 12.5 Gy. From 30 to 112 days, there is some recovery of this number, but it remains well below control values. At 24 hr, the number of nuclei per acinus shows a distinct dose response up to 20 Gy. However, at 30 days there is no evidence of a dose response for this parameter. These results indicate that even though serous cells die in significant numbers within hours of irradiation, the atrophy of the lacrimal gland (and by extension, the parotid gland) is a result of the death of the serous stem cell or precursor. Consequently, protection of serous cells from radiation apoptosis will not diminish serous gland atrophy.
03603016 (ISSN) Cited By: 7; Export Date: 31 May 2006; Source: Scopus CODEN: IOBPD Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Schultheiss, T.E.; Radiation Oncology; Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia, PA 19006, United States