Van der Meeren, A., Mouthon, M-A., Vandamme, M., Squiban, C. and Aigueperse, J. Combinations of Cytokines Promote Survival of Mice and Limit Acute Radiation Damage in Concert with Amelioration of Vascular Damage. Radiat. Res. 161, 549–559 (2004).

Recovery from hematopoietic aplasia is a predominant factor in the survival of total-body-irradiated mice within 30 days after exposure. However, other radiation-induced pathophysiological events have been shown to play a role, among which an inflammatory reaction must be considered. In the present study, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of a hematopoietic growth factor (thrombopoietin, Tpo) and pleiotropic cytokines (Il4 or Il11), used alone or in combination, on the survival of mice, hematopoietic reconstitution, inflammatory reaction and vascular changes. All treatments including Tpo induced a higher level of survival than did treatment with a placebo, with combinations being the most efficient. The increased survival could not be explained solely by an improved hematopoietic recovery. Treatments with Tpo also reduced the level of the chemokine KC in plasma and the level of expression of mRNA for inflammatory and coagulation proteins in the lungs of irradiated mice. In addition, radiation- induced vascular hyperpermeability was reduced with the use of Tpo. In summary, our results show that Tpo may improve survival by limiting vascular leakage, which in turn could limit inflammatory reactions and the ensuing tissue damage.

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