Søren Egedal Degn

Comparison of gamma and x-ray irradiation for myeloablation and establishment of normal and autoimmune syngeneic bone marrow chimeras

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Murine bone marrow (BM) chimeras are a versatile and valuable research tool in stem cell and immunology research. Engraftment of donor BM requires myeloablative conditioning of recipients. The most common method used for mice is ionizing radiation, and Cesium-137 gamma irradiators have been preferred. However, radioactive sources are being outphased worldwide due to safety concerns, and are most commonly replaced by X-ray sources, creating a need to compare these sources regarding efficiency and potential side effects. Prior research has proven both methods capable of efficiently ablating BM cells and splenocytes in mice, but with moderate differences in resultant donor chimerism across tissues. Here, we compared Cesium-137 to 350 keV X-ray irradiation with respect to immune reconstitution, assaying complete, syngeneic BM chimeras and a mixed chimera model of autoimmune disease. Based on dose titration, we find that both gamma and X-ray irradiation can facilitate a near-complete donor chimerism. Mice subjected to 13 Gy Cesium-137 irradiation and reconstituted with syngeneic donor marrow were viable and displayed high donor chimerism, whereas X-ray irradiated mice all succumbed at 13 Gy. However, a similar degree of chimerism as that obtained following 13 Gy gamma irradiation could be achieved by 11 Gy X-ray irradiation, about 85% relative to the gamma dose. In the mixed chimera model of autoimmune disease, we found that a similar autoimmune phenotype could be achieved irrespective of irradiation source used. It is thus possible to compare data generated, regardless of the irradiation source, but every setup and application likely needs individual optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0247501
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 Wittenborn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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