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Preferential liver irradiation enhances hematopoiesis through a thrombopoietin-independent mechanism



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Mouthon MA, Vandamme M, Gourmelon P, Vainchenker W, Wendling F Radiat Res 1999 Oct;152(4):390-7


Liver synthesizes thrombopoietin, which is a major cytokine involved in the production of hematopoietic cells. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of preferential liver irradiation on expression of thrombopoietin and production of hematopoietic cells. About 70% of the liver of C57BL6/J mice was irradiated with 20 Gy of gamma rays. Exposure to ionizing radiation enhanced hematopoietic progenitors and megakaryocyte frequency in bone marrow and induced a transient increase in platelet and neutrophil counts that peaked 14 days after irradiation. The concentration of thrombopoietin was increased in serum as early as 5 h after liver irradiation and was still elevated at day 14. By using Northern blot analysis and an RNase protection assay, we showed that thrombopoietin mRNA was increased in the irradiated liver. To determine whether thrombopoietin was involved in the stimulation of hematopoiesis, we irradiated mice in which thrombopoietin deficiency had been induced by homologous recombination. Platelet levels were increased in both heterozygous and homozygous thrombopoietin-deficient mice with a magnitude similar to that obtained in normal mice. In summary, our data demonstrate that local irradiation of the abdomen encompassing the liver leads to stimulation of hematopoiesis through a thrombopoietin-independent mechanism.