?2014 Zhang et al.The adverse effect induced by carbon ion radiation (CIR) is still an unavoidable hazard to the treatment object. Thus, evaluation of its adverse effects on the body is a critical problem with respect to radiation therapy. We aimed to investigate the change between the configuration and mechanical properties of erythrocytes induced by radiation and found differences in both the configuration and the mechanical properties with involving in morphological remodeling process. Syrian hamsters were subjected to whole-body irradiation with carbon ion beams (1, 2, 4, and 6 Gy) or X-rays (2, 4, 6, and 12 Gy) for 3, 14 and 28 days. Erythrocytes in peripheral blood and bone marrow were collected for cytomorphological analysis. The mechanical properties of the erythrocytes were determined using atomic force microscopy, and the expression of the cytoskeletal protein spectrin- a1 was analyzed via western blotting. The results showed that dynamic changes were evident in erythrocytes exposed to different doses of carbon ion beams compared with X-rays and the control (0 Gy). The magnitude of impairment of the cell number and cellular morphology manifested the subtle variation according to the irradiation dose. In particular, the differences in the size, shape and mechanical properties of the erythrocytes were well exhibited. Furthermore, immunoblot data showed that the expression of the cytoskeletal protein spectrin-a1 was changed after irradiation, and there was a common pattern among its substantive characteristics in the irradiated group. Based on these findings, the present study concluded that CIR could induce a change in mechanical properties during morphological remodeling of erythrocytes. According to the unique characteristics of the biomechanical categories, we deduce that changes in cytomorphology and mechanical properties can be measured to evaluate the adverse effects generated by tumor radiotherapy. Additionally, for the first time, the current study provides a new strategy for enhancing the assessment of the curative effects and safety of clinical radiotherapy, as well as reducing adverse effects.
Zhang, B., Liu, B., Zhang, H., & Wang, J. (2014). Erythrocyte stiffness during morphological remodeling induced by carbon ion radiation. PLoS ONE, 9(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0112624