The development and characterization of two types of chronic responses in irradiated mouse colon

David Scott Followill, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The hypothesis to be tested is that there are two distinct types of chronic responses in irradiated normal tissues, each resulting from damage to different cell populations in the tissue. The first is a sequala of chronic epithelial depletion in which the tissue's integrity cannot be maintained, i.e. a "consequential" chronic response. The other response is due to cell loss in the connective tissue and/or vascular stroma, i.e. a "primary" chronic response. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis in the murine colon by first, establishing a model of each chronic response and then, by determining whether the responses differed in timing of expression, histology, and expression of specific collagen types. The model of late damage used was colonic obstructions/strictures induced by a single dose of 27 Gy ("consequential" response) and two equal doses of 14.75 Gy (t = 10 days) ("primary" response). "Consequential" lesions appeared as early as 5 weeks after 27 Gy and were characterized by a deep mucosal ulceration and a thickened fibrotic serosa containing excessive accumulations of collagen types I and III. Both types were commingled in the scar at the base of the ulcer. Fibroblasts were synthesizing pro-collagen types I and III mRNA 10 weeks prior to measurable increases in collagen. A significant decrease in the ratio of collagen types I:III was associated with the "consequential" response at 4-5 months post-irradiation. The "primary" response, on the other hand, did not appear until 40 weeks after the split dose even though the total dose delivered was approximately the same as that for the "consequential" response. The "primary" response was characterized with an intact mucosa and a thickened fibrotic submucosa which contained excessive amounts of only collagen type I. An increased number of fibroblasts were synthesizing pro-collagen type I mRNA nearly 25 weeks before collagen type I levels were increased. The "primary" response lesion had a significantly elevated collagen type I:III ratio at 10-13 months post-irradiation. These data show a clear difference between the two chronic response and suggest that not all chronic responses share a common pathogenesis, but depend on the cell population in the tissue that is damaged.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Followill, David Scott, "The development and characterization of two types of chronic responses in irradiated mouse colon" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9202580.