Acta Med. 2001, 44: 125-130

Apoptosis and Bcl-2 Expression in Irradiated Lungs and the Effect of Pentoxifylline

Jan Österreichera, Michal Králika, Leoš Navrátilb, Jiřina Vávrováa, Jiří Škopekb, Jiří Knížeka, Aleš Macelaa

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

Received September 1, 2001
Accepted November 1, 2001

We measured number of bcl-2, apoptotic, neutrophil, and surfactant apoprotein D (SP-D) positive cells in irradiated rat lungs during different time points after the sublethal whole-thorax irradiation of rats. We also investigated the influence of pentoxifylline (PTX) therapy on these markers. Wistar rats were given 15 Gy thoracic irradiation and PTX (35 mg/kg) twice a week. Animals were examined histologically and imunohistochemically at intervals from 1-12 weeks. In non-treated rats compared with treated rats, bcl-2 expression was significantly inhibited from 4 weeks after irradiation. A higher apoptosis presence in non-treated rats from 4 weeks was found and apoptosis development in PTX-treated animals was delayed and started 8 weeks after irradiation. Similar differences were measured during neutrophil granulocytes examination. Neutrophil penetration in non-treated rats was found 5 weeks after irradiation in contrast to the RP onset of PTX-treated animals 8 weeks after irradiation. The number of SP-D positive cells in non-treated rats observed until 5 weeks after irradiation was higher than in the control group. PTX-treated animals expressed higher number of SP-D positive cells during the whole experiment than the control group. We suggest that apoptosis is linked to neutrophil granulocyte actions during the RP onset and that PTX-therapy causes diminished inflammation development.


This study has been supported by MO 66020398127, MO 02031100002, and FJ MSM 111100005 grants.


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