After nuclear disasters, large amounts of radionuclides were released into the environment. Strontium 90 (90Sr) is part of these wastes. Because of its half-life of 29 years, it is a persistent pollutant which leads to the contamination of surrounding populations through the chronic ingestion of low quantities of this radioelement. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated some effects on immune system, hematopoietic system and bone physiology in humans. 90Sr accumulates mostly in bones and could contribute to the appearance of such effects. The aim of this work is to understand the action mechanisms which could explain the previous observations.
In the first in vitro model, a murine stromal cell line (MS5) contaminated through the culture medium with 1 or 10 kBq.mL-1 of 90Sr was used. Thank to this model, an increased number of DNA double-strand breaks in cells after 30 minutes of exposure, a senescence induction and a modification in the support of hematopoietic progenitors were observed. In the second model, Balb/c mice were contaminated during 24 weeks through drinking water containing 90Sr at 4, 20 and 100 kBq.L-1. Both an increase in genic expression of bone resorption markers and in antioxydative enzymes were observed. An increase in p21 expression, marker of senescence, and a decrease in IL-6 were also seen.
The implications of these results on bone physiology, immune and hematopoietic systems are discussed. As a whole, all this work completed the preexistent data about 90Sr and contributes to a better understanding of the action mechanisms of 90Sr on marrow stromal cells which have a pivotal function in the regulation of the immune and hematopoietic system.