Acta Med. 2001, 44: 15-19

The Alveolar Septal Thickness and Type II Pneumocytes Number in Irradiated Lungs, Time Expression and the Effect of Pentoxifylline

Jan Österreichera, Jaroslav Mokrýb, Leoš Navrátilc, Jiří Knížeka, Jiřina Vávrováa, Jiří Škopekc, Aleš Macelaa

aPurkyně Military Medical Academy in Hradec Králové, Department of Radiobiology and Immunology, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
bCharles University in Prague, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, Department of Histology and Embryology, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
cCharles University in Prague, 1st Medical Faculty, Department of Biophysics, Prague, Czech Republic

Received November 1, 2000
Accepted January 1, 2001

Purpose: We studied the relationship between type II pneumocytes number and alveolar septal thickness during different time after sublethal whole-thorax irradiation of rats and we investigated the influence of pentoxifylline (TNF-α inhibitor). Materials and methods: Wistar rats were exposed to 15 Gy thoracic irradiation and pentoxifylline (35 mg/kg) twice a week. Lungs were examined histologically and imunohistochemically at intervals ranging from 1-12 weeks and alveolar septal thickness, number of type II pneumocytes (identified by immunoreactivity for cytokeratin 18), and neutrophile granulocytes were counted. Results: Significant increase of alveolar septal thickness and type II pneumocytes depletion 3 weeks after irradiation were found. Correlation of these markers was r = -0.759. Pentoxifylline significantly inhibits increased alveolar septal thickness without the influence on type II pneumocytes number. Neutrophil penetration started 5 weeks after irradiation in non-treated animals, 8 weeks after irradiation in PTX-treated rats. Conclusions: We suggest that pneumocytes depletion is linked to increased vascular permeability, and pentoxifylline therapy does not influence on pneumocytes kinetics after irradiation.


The grant No. MO 66020398127 from the Czech Republic Secretary of Defence; The grant of the Ministry of Education No. FJ MSM 111100005.


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