The impact of high and low dose ionising radiation on the central nervous system

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Elsevier B.V.
Responses of the central nervous system (CNS) to stressors and injuries, such as ionising radiation, are modulated by the concomitant responses of the brains innate immune effector cells, microglia. Exposure to high doses of ionising radiation in brain tissue leads to the expression and release of biochemical mediators of ‘neuroinflammation’, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to tissue destruction. Contrastingly, low dose ionising radiation may reduce vulnerability to subsequent exposure of ionising radiation, largely through the stimulation of adaptive responses, such as antioxidant defences. These disparate responses may be reflective of non-linear differential microglial activation at low and high doses, manifesting as an anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory functional state. Biomarkers of pathology in the brain, such as the mitochondrial Translocator Protein 18 kDa (TSPO), have facilitated in vivo characterisation of microglial activation and ‘neuroinflammation’ in many pathological states of the CNS, though the exact function of TSPO in these responses remains elusive. Based on the known responsiveness of TSPO expression to a wide range of noxious stimuli, we discuss TSPO as a potential biomarker of radiation-induced effects. © 2016 The Authors Published by Elsevier B.V.
Ionizing radiations, Oxygen, Antioxidants, Inflammation, Translocation, Proteins, Doses
Betlazar, C., Middleton, R. J., Banati, R. B., & Liu, G. J. (2016). The impact of high and low dose ionising radiation on the central nervous system. Redox Biology, 9, 144-156. doi:10.1016/j.redox.2016.08.002