Prat, M., Demarquay, C., Frick, J., Dudoignon, N., Thierry, D. and Bertho, J. M. Use of Flt3 Ligand to Evaluate Residual Hematopoiesis after Heterogeneous Irradiation in Mice. Radiat. Res. 166, 504–511 (2006).
We evaluated the possibility of using plasma Flt3 ligand (FL) concentration as a biological indicator of bone marrow function after heterogeneous irradiation. Mice were irradiated with 4, 7.5 or 11 Gy with 25, 50, 75 or 100% of the bone marrow in the field of irradiation. This model of irradiation resulted in graded and controlled damage to the bone marrow. Mice exhibited a pancytopenia correlated with both the radiation dose and the percentage of bone marrow irradiated. The FL concentration in the blood increased with the severity of bone marrow aplasia. Nonlinear regression analysis showed that the FL concentration was strongly correlated with the total number of residual colony-forming cells 3 days after irradiation, allowing a precise estimate of residual hematopoiesis. Moreover, the FL concentration on day 3 postirradiation was correlated with the duration and severity of subsequent pancytopenia, suggesting that variations in FL concentrations might be used as a predictive indicator of bone marrow aplasia, especially by the use of linear regression equations describing these correlations. Our results provide a rationale for the use of FL concentration as a biological indicator of residual hematopoiesis after heterogeneous irradiation.