Survivors of acute radiation exposure suffer from the delayed effects of acute radiation exposure (DEARE), a chronic condition affecting multiple organs, including lung, kidney, heart, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, and brain, and often causing cancer. While effective medical countermeasures (MCM) for the hematopoietic-acute radiation syndrome (H-ARS) have been identified and approved by the FDA, development of MCM for DEARE has not yet been successful. We previously documented residual bone marrow damage (RBMD) and progressive renal and cardiovascular DEARE in murine survivors of H-ARS, and significant survival efficacy of 16,16-dimethyl prostaglandin E2 (dmPGE2) given as a radioprotectant or radiomitigator for H-ARS. We now describe additional DEARE (physiological and neural function, progressive fur graying, ocular inflammation, and malignancy) developing after sub-threshold doses in our H-ARS model, and detailed analysis of the effects of dmPGE2 administered before (PGE-pre) or after (PGE-post) lethal total-body irradiation (TBI) on these DEARE. Administration of PGE-pre normalized the twofold reduction of white blood cells (WBC) and lymphocytes seen in vehicle-treated survivors (Veh), and increased the number of bone marrow (BM) cells, splenocytes, thymocytes, and phenotypically defined hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) to levels equivalent to those in non-irradiated age-matched controls. PGE-pre significantly protected HPC colony formation ex vivo by >twofold, long term-HSC in vivo engraftment potential up to ninefold, and significantly blunted TBI-induced myeloid skewing. Secondary transplantation documented continued production of LT-HSC with normal lineage differentiation. PGE-pre reduced development of DEARE cardiovascular pathologies and renal damage; prevented coronary artery rarefication, blunted progressive loss of coronary artery endothelia, reduced inflammation and coronary early senescence, and blunted radiation-induced increase in blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Ocular monocytes were significantly lower in PGE-pre mice, as was TBI-induced fur graying. Increased body weight and decreased frailty in male mice, and reduced incidence of thymic lymphoma were documented in PGE-pre mice. In assays measuring behavioral and cognitive functions, PGE-pre reduced anxiety in females, significantly blunted shock flinch response, and increased exploratory behavior in males. No effect of TBI was observed on memory in any group. PGE-post, despite significantly increasing 30-day survival in H-ARS and WBC and hematopoietic recovery, was not effective in reducing TBI-induced RBMD or any other DEARE. In summary, dmPGE2 administered as an H-ARS MCM before lethal TBI significantly increased 30-day survival and ameliorated RBMD and multi-organ and cognitive/behavioral DEARE to at least 12 months after TBI, whereas given after TBI, dmPGE2 enhances survival from H-ARS but has little impact on RBMD or other DEARE.

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