Lemay, A-M. and Haston, C. K. Radiation-Induced Lung Response of AcB/BcA Recombinant Congenic Mice. Radiat. Res. 170, 299–306 (2008).
The genetic factors that influence the development of radiotherapy-induced lung disease are largely unknown. Herein we identified a strain difference in lung response to radiation wherein A/J mice developed alveolitis with increased levels of pulmonary mast cells and cells in bronchoalveolar lavage while the phenotype in C57BL/6J mice was fibrosis with fewer inflammatory cells. To identify genomic loci that may influence these phenotypes, we assessed recombinant congenic (RC) mice derived from the A/J and C57BL/6J strains for their propensity to develop alveolitis or fibrosis after 18 Gy whole-thorax irradiation. Mouse survival, lung histopathology and bronchoalveolar lavage cell types were recorded. Informative strains for each of mast cell influx, bronchoalveolar cell numbers, alveolitis and fibrosis were identified. In mice with the A/J strain background, the severity of alveolitis correlated with increased mast cell numbers while in C57BL/6J background strain mice fibrosis was correlated with the percentage of neutrophils in lavage. The data for RC mice support the association of specific inflammatory cells with the development of radiation-induced lung disease and provide informative strains with which to dissect the genetic basis of these complex traits.