Heavy-ion radiation received during radiotherapy as well as the heavy-ion radiation received during space flight are equally considered harmful. Our previous study showed that TLR4 low toxic agonist, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA), alleviated radiation injury resulting from exposure to low-LET radiation. However, the role and mechanism of MPLA in heavy-ion-radiation injury are unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of MPLA on radiation damage. Our data showed that MPLA treatment alleviated the heavy-ion-induced damage to microstructure and the spleen and testis indexes. The number of karyocytes in the bone marrow from the MPLA-treated group was higher than that in the irradiated group. Meanwhile, western blotting analysis of intestine proteins showed that pro-apoptotic proteins (cleaved-caspase3 and Bax) were downregulated while anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-2) were upregulated in the MPLA-treated group. Our in vitro study demonstrated that MPLA significantly improved cell proliferation and inhibited cell apoptosis after irradiation. Moreover, immunofluorescence staining and quantification of nucleic γ-H2AX and 53BP1 foci also suggested that MPLA significantly attenuated cellular DNA damage repair. Collectively, the above evidence supports the potential ability of MPLA to protect against heavy-ion-radiation injury by inhibiting apoptosis and alleviating DNA damage in vivo and vitro, which could be a promising medical countermeasure for the prevention of heavy-ion-radiation injury.

You do not currently have access to this content.