The effects of high dose gamma radiation on brain tissue are poorly understood, with both limited and major changes reported. The present study compared the effects of gamma irradiation on the expression of interneuron markers within the hippocampal cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) region with expression in control matched rats. This area was chosen for study because of its well-characterized circuitry. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 60 Gy of whole brain gamma radiation and after 24 or 48 hours, the brains were removed, fixed and sectioned to quantitate expression of parvalbumin (PV), calbindin-D28K (CB), reelin, neuropeptide-Y (NPY), and somatostatin. All of these markers increased in expression over the first 48 hours, except NPY, which decreased. This provides novel information on changes in gene expression in the hippocampal interneurons following radiation. Staining for Beclin 1, a marker of autophagy, increased most strongly in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG). Overall, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that increased intracellular calcium follows irradiation, leading to an increased expression of calcium binding proteins. Increased autophagy occurs in the neurogenic zone of the dentate hilus, consistent with reduced effective neurogenesis after irradiation.
View details for PubMedID 28861331
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5576964