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Immune mechanism of the retarded growth of tumor nodules in mice exposed to single low-level irradiations with X-rays


, : Immune mechanism of the retarded growth of tumor nodules in mice exposed to single low-level irradiations with X-rays. Central European Journal of Immunology 31(1-2): 44-50

A number of epidemiological and experimental data indicate that exposures to low doses of low-LET ionizing radiation may trigger the activity of natural anti-tumour immune mechanisms and inhibit tumour growth. Natural killer (NK) cells and activated macrophages play an important role in the anti-tumour defence of the host. In our experiments, BALB/c mice were irradiated with single doses of 0.1, 0.2, or 1.0 Gy X-rays and then intravenously (i.v.) injected with L1 sarcoma cells. Cytotoxic activities of NK cells and macrophages were estimated in vitro using the classical Cr-51-release and [H] thymidine-uptake assays, respectively. The anti-asialo GM1 (GM(1)Ab) antibody and carrageenan (CGN) were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected to block the NK cell- and macrophage-mediated activities in vivo, respectively. Whole body irradiation of mice with a single low dose (0.1 or 0.2 Gy) of X-rays led to a significant reduction of the number of tumour colonies induced in the lungs accompanied by the enhanced cytotoxic activities of both NK lymphocytes and macrophages. Treatment of mice with GM1Ab or CGN abrogated the tumour-inhibitory effect of the exposures to 0.1 and 0.2 Gy X-rays. The obtained data suggest that suppression of the development of pulmonary tumour colonies by single irradiations of mice with the two low doses of X-rays may result front stimulation of the natural anti-tumour defence reactions mediated by NK cells and/or cytotoxic macrophages.

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