Adachi, Y., Tokuda, N., Sawada, T. and Fukumoto, T. Semiquantitative Detection of Cytokine Messages in X-Irradiated and Regenerating Rat Thymus. Radiat. Res. 163, 400– 407 (2005).

We investigated the expression of cytokine mRNA derived from thymocytes or thymic epithelial cells in X-irradiated (8 Gy) and recovering rat thymuses, according to our previous observation (Mizutani et al., Radiat. Res. 157, 281–289, 2002). The changes in mRNA expression level of interleukin 2 (Il2), Il4, tumor necrosis factor α (Tnf), interferon γ (Ifng), and transforming growth factor β (Tgfb) were examined. The mRNA expression of Il2 and Il4 decreased from day 5 to day 14 after irradiation. Thereafter, the expression level of Il2 mRNA recovered to normal control levels; however, the expression of Il4 mRNA tended toward significantly low levels. Tnf mRNA expression decreased on day 5 after irradiation and then showed a gradual increase back to normal control levels. Tgfb mRNA expression did not change significantly. Ifng mRNA expression was transiently enhanced from day 11 to day 14. The mRNA expression levels of Il10 increased significantly from day 3 to day 7 after irradiation. In addition, the mRNA expression of thymic epithelial cell-derived Il7 showed a transient decrease on day 3; however, then it showed a continuous increase from day 5 to day 21, finally reaching twice the normal control levels after X irradiation. These observations suggest that the expression of cytokine messages in the irradiated thymus changed significantly and did not return to normal for a long time after 8 Gy irradiation.

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