The role of UV radiation in the development of myeloid malignancy in Rag2 knockout mice

Shilpa Ganesh Ghurye, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Excessive exposure to the UV radiation present in sunlight can lead to the development of skin cancer in humans. Majority of the UV-induced skin tumors in immune-competent mice are highly antigenic in nature. Additionally, they exhibit a high frequency of mutations in the p53 gene, which arise very early in the course of UV radiation and most of them disappear before the development of skin tumors. Initially, this study was to determine whether UV radiation induces skin tumors much earlier in immune deficient Rag2 knockout mice than in immune-competent mice, and if so, compare their antigenic properties and p53 mutation spectra. However, chronic UV irradiation (10 kJ/m2) induced myeloproliferative disease (MPD) as early as 4 weeks in Rag2 knockout mice instead of skin tumors. Conversely, unirradiated Rag2 knockout mice developed MPD at a low frequency, but the frequency increased with the animal's age. Although the UV-irradiated wild type mice (B6129) developed MPD, its frequency was lower and the occurrence much later than the Rag2 knockout mice. This observation led to our new hypothesis that UV irradiation plays a role in the development of MPD in Rag2 knockout mice. After 4 weeks of UV radiation, both histopathology (myeloid:erythroid ratio, number of blast cells) and flow cytometry (mature myeloid, granulocytes and immature cells) demonstrated an increased number of mice affected with the disease in the UV-irradiated Rag2 knockout group than the other groups. We also investigated the role of cytokines and absence of T and B cells in the development of MPD in the Rag2 knockout mice. Results indicated that IL-3 and IL-3Rα chain expression was upregulated in the spleens of the UV-irradiated Rag2 knockout mice (4 weeks). Reconstitution of the Rag2 knockout mice with T and B cells abrogated the UV-accelerated development of MPD. Both histopathology and flow cytometric analysis (mature myeloid cells, granulocytes) showed a decrease in the number of mice affected with the disease in the UV-irradiated, reconstituted group rather than any other group. In summary, this study provides the first experimental evidence that exposure to UV irradiation can lead to the development of MPD in immune deficient mice.

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Recommended Citation

Ghurye, Shilpa Ganesh, "The role of UV radiation in the development of myeloid malignancy in Rag2 knockout mice" (2003). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3115906.