Cranial radiotherapy is one of the most important therapeutic methods for the treatment of various types of primary and metastatic brain tumors.
Although conventional photon irradiation has significantly improved the treatment of cancer, the central nervous system is prone to damage after high-dose irradiation, resulting in severe delayed or progressive nervous tissue injury.
The issues regarding brain radiation injury have been widely discussed, and recent investigations have emphasized changes in pathomorphology. However, the underlying mechanism remains in debate. Researchers at the School of Stomatology, Lanzhou University, China discovered that radiation-induced neuronal injury was more apparent after X-irradiation.
Under atomic force microscopy, the neuronal membrane appeared rough and neuronal rigidity had increased.
The depolymerization, misfolding or denaturation of microtubule associated proteins might contribute to the destruction of the nutrient transport channel within cells after radiation damage. Moreover, some hidden apoptosis-related genes are released through the regulation of several signals, thus triggering apoptosis and inducing acute radiation injury.
Their experimental data also revealed that X-rays produced much severer radiation injury to cortical neurons than a heavy ion beam, suggesting that the heavy ion beam has a biological advantage over X-rays. This could provide a theoretical basis for effectively improving the protection of normal brain tissue in future cranial radiotherapy.
This article is released in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 11, 2014).
Article: " Heavy ion and X-ray irradiation alter the cytoskeleton and cytomechanics of cortical neurons," by Yuting Du1, 2, Jie Zhang2, 1, Qian Zheng1, Mingxin Li1, Yang Liu3, Baoping Zhang4, Bin Liu2, 1, Hong Zhang3, Guoying Miao5 (1 School of Stomatology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China; 2 School of Nuclear Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China; 3 Department of Radiation Biology and Medicine, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China; 4 School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China; 5 Gansu Provinceal Hospital, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China)
Du YT, Zhang J, Zheng Q, Li MX, Liu Y, Zhang BP, Liu B, Zhang H, Miao GY. Heavy ion and X-ray irradiation alter the cytoskeleton and cytomechanics of cortical neurons Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(11):1129-1137.