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Chapter 18 : Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis

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Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

In an experiment to study the effects of sublethal wholebody irradiation, commercial rabbits were irradiated with 400 rads of whole-body X-irradiation—a sublethal dose. At 2 or 10 days thereafter, they were injected intradermally with BCG. Between 2 and 4 weeks after irradiation, the BCG lesions and 48-h tuberculin reactions in the irradiated group were smaller than those of the nonirradiated controls. The BCG lesions in the irradiated group also contained more bacilli. Pulmonary alveolar macrophages (AM) recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from irradiated rabbits contained higher levels of hydrolytic enzymes than did AM from nonirradiated controls. The AM from the irradiated group were apparently an older (more activated) cell population, because they had ingested inhaled particles for a longer period of time. The irradiation evidently had reduced the young macrophage population that replenishes the AM population. Rabbits were infected by aerosol with virulent human-type tubercle bacilli (H37Rv) at 12 or 30 days after irradiation. In each case, 5 weeks after infection, the number of primary pulmonary tubercles in their lungs was the same in both the irradiated and the nonirradiated groups. The number of viable bacilli in these tubercles was the same. Therefore, this sublethal dose of irradiation had no appreciable effect on the development and progress of primary pulmonary tubercles in rabbits. In brief, X-irradiation reduces the bone marrow’s capacity to provide defense cells to protect the host against infection. When the host is challenged by inhaled virulent human-type tubercle bacilli, an adequate supply of defense cells is available.

Citation: Dannenberg, Jr. A. 2006. Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis, p 292-298. In Pathogenesis of Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815684.ch18
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Blood counts (cells per mm3) in control rabbits (shaded areas) and rabbits irradiated with 400 rads on day 0 (line graphs). The means and their standard errors are shown for each group.

Note the differences in the total leukocyte count, the granulocyte (PMN) count, and the lymphocyte count 2 days after irradiation. PMN were high at 2 days, probably because the sequestered PMN (mainly in the lungs) were released into the circulation. Lymphocytes are very radiosensitive, so their number markedly decreased soon after irradiation.

During the first 2 weeks, the bone marrow could not maintain normal circulating leukocyte levels, but then it gradually recovered so that the leukocyte counts were nearly normal at 4 to 5 weeks.

Reproduced with permission from reference 3.

Citation: Dannenberg, Jr. A. 2006. Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis, p 292-298. In Pathogenesis of Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815684.ch18
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Size of the BCG lesions and 2-day tuberculin reactions in control rabbits and in rabbits that received 400 rads of whole-body radiation 2 days before 0.1 × 106 viable BCG were injected intradermally in each of several sites. The means and their standard errors are shown.

Note that between 2 and 3 weeks the size of the BCG lesions and the size of the tuberculin reactions were reduced in the irradiated rabbits, apparently because the bone marrow could not supply the lesions with the usual number of leukocytes (mainly macrophages and lymphocytes).

Reproduced with permission from reference 1.

Citation: Dannenberg, Jr. A. 2006. Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis, p 292-298. In Pathogenesis of Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815684.ch18
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References

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1. Kambara, T.,, S. Chandrasekhar,, A. M. Dannenberg, Jr., and, O. T. Meyer. 1970. Radiation, infection and macrophage function. I. Effects of whole body radiation on dermal tuberculous lesions in rabbits: development, histology and histochemistry. J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 7:5378.
2. Meyer, O. T., and, A. M. Dannenberg, Jr. 1970. Radiation, infection and macrophage function. II. Effect of whole body radiation on the number of pulmonary alveolar macrophages and their levels of hydrolytic enzymes. J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 7:7990.
3. Dannenberg, A. M., Jr.,, W. G. Roessler,, O. T. Meyer,, S. Chandrasekhar, and, T. Kambara. 1970. Radiation, infection and macrophage function. III. Recovery from the effects of radiation illustrated by dermal BCG lesions: resistance of pulmonary alveolar macrophages to radiation illustrated by tuberculosis produced by the airborne route. J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 7:91108.
4. Chandrasekhar, S.,, K. Shima,, A. M. Dannenberg, Jr.,, T. Kambara,, J. I. Fabrikant, and, W. G. Roessler. 1971. Radiation, infection and macrophage function. IV. The effect of radiation on the proliferative abilities of mononuclear phagocytes in tuberculous lesions of rabbits. Infect. Immun. 3:254259.
5. Dannenberg, A. M., Jr.,, M. S. Burstone,, P. C. Walter, and, J. W. Kinsley. 1963. A histochemical study of phagocytic and enzymatic functions of rabbit mononuclear and polymorphonuclear exu-date cells and alveolar macrophages. I. Survey and quantitation of enzymes, and states of cellular activation. J. Cell Biol. 17:465486.
6. Mizunoe, K., and, A. M. Dannenberg, Jr. 1965. Hydrolases of rabbit macrophages. III. Effect of BCG vaccination, tissue culture, and ingested tuber-cle bacilli. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 120:284290.
7. Dannenberg, A. M., Jr.,, P. C. Walter, and, F. A. Kapral. 1963. A histochemical study of phagocytic and enzymatic functions of rabbit mononu-clear and polymorphonuclear exudate cells and alveolar macrophages. II. The effect of particle ingestion on enzymes activity; two phases of in vitro activation. J. Immunol. 90:448465.
8. Shechmeister, I. L.,, V. P. Bond, and, M. N. Swift. 1952. The susceptibility of irradiated mice to infection as a function of post-irradiation time. J. Immunol. 68:8795.
9. Pearson, R. 1989. Radiography in women of childbearing ability. Br. Med. J. 299:11751176.

Tables

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TABLE 1

Effect of whole-body irradiation on the number of rabbit pulmonary alveolar macrophages (AM) obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) after an intravenous injection of heat-killed tubercle bacilli in oil a

Citation: Dannenberg, Jr. A. 2006. Effects of Whole-Body X-Irradiation on Tuberculosis, p 292-298. In Pathogenesis of Human Pulmonary Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815684.ch18

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