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Frontiers in Neuroscience



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Cognitive dysfunction following radiation treatment for brain cancers in both children and adults have been correlated to impairment of neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Various species and strains of rodent models have been used to study radiation-induced changes in neurogenesis and these investigations have utilized only a limited number of doses, dose-fractions, age and time after exposures conditions. In this paper, we have extended our previous mathematical model of radiation-induced hippocampal neurogenesis impairment of C57BL/6 mice to delineate the time, age, and dose dependent alterations in neurogenesis of a diverse strain of rats. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first predictive mathematical model to be published about hippocampal neurogenesis impairment for a variety of rat strains after acute or fractionated exposures to low linear energy transfer (low LET) radiation, such as X-rays and γ-rays, which are conventionally used in cancer radiation therapy. We considered four compartments to model hippocampal neurogenesis and its impairment following radiation exposures. Compartments include: (1) neural stem cells (NSCs), (2) neuronal progenitor cells or neuroblasts (NB), (3) immature neurons (ImN), and (4) glioblasts (GB). Additional consideration of dose and time after irradiation dependence of microglial activation and a possible shift of NSC proliferation from neurogenesis to gliogenesis at higher doses is established. Using a system of non-linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs), characterization of rat strain and age-related dynamics of hippocampal neurogenesis for unirradiated and irradiated conditions is developed. The model is augmented with the description of feedback regulation on early and late neuronal proliferation following radiation exposure. Predictions for dose-fraction regimes compared to acute radiation exposures, along with the dependence of neurogenesis sensitivity to radiation on age and strain of rats are discussed. A major result of this work is predictions of the rat strain and age dependent differences in radiation sensitivity and sub-lethal damage repair that can be used for predictions for arbitrary dose and dose-fractionation schedules.


Rat hippocampal neurogenesis; Acute radiation exposure; Fractionated radiation treatment; Cancer radiotherapy; Radiosensitivity of neurogenesis



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