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Title: Integrated Experimental and Computational Approach to Understand the Effects of Heavy Ion Radiation on Skin Homeostasis.

The effects of low dose high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation on human health are of concern for both space and clinical exposures. As epidemiological data for such radiation exposures are scarce for making relevant predictions, we need to understand the mechanism of response especially in normal tissues. Our objective here is to understand the effects of heavy ion radiation on tissue homeostasis in a realistic model system. Towards this end, we exposed an in vitro three dimensional skin equivalent to low fluences of Neon (Ne) ions (300 MeV/u), and determined the differentiation profile as a function of time following exposure using immunohistochemistry. We found that Ne ion exposures resulted in transient increases in the tissue regions expressing the differentiation markers keratin 10, and filaggrin, and more subtle time-dependent effects on the number of basal cells in the epidermis. We analyzed the data using a mathematical model of the skin equivalent, to quantify the effect of radiation on cell proliferation and differentiation. The agent-based mathematical model for the epidermal layer treats the epidermis as a collection of heterogeneous cell types with different proliferation/differentiation properties. We obtained model parameters from the literature where available, and calibrated the unknown parameters to matchmore » the observed properties in unirradiated skin. We then used the model to rigorously examine alternate hypotheses regarding the effects of high LET radiation on the tissue. Our analysis indicates that Ne ion exposures induce rapid, but transient, changes in cell division, differentiation and proliferation. We have validated the modeling results by histology and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The integrated approach presented here can be used as a general framework to understand the responses of multicellular systems, and can be adapted to other epithelial tissues.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Integrative Biology, 5(10):1229-1243
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States