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J Immunol Res


Low-Dose Irradiation Differentially Impacts Macrophage Phenotype in Dependence of Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes and Radiation Dose.


Deloch L, Fuchs J, Rückert M, Fietkau R, Frey B, Gaipl US
J Immunol Res. 2019; 2019:3161750.
PMID: 31485459.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease whose main hallmark is inflammation and destruction of the joints. Two cell types within the synovium that play an important role in RA are fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and macrophages. The latter innate immune cells show a high plasticity in their phenotype and are central in inflammatory processes. Low-dose radiotherapy (LD-RT) with particularly a single dose of 0.5 Gy has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on pain, inflammation, and bone in inflamed joints. We now examined for the first time how LD-RT influences FLS and bone marrow-derived macrophages in co-culture systems of an experimental model of RA to reveal further mechanisms of immune modulatory effects of low and intermediate dose of ionizing radiation. For this, the bone marrow of h tg mice was differentiated either with cytokines to obtain key macrophage phenotypes (M0, M1, and M2) or with supernatants (SN) of untreated or irradiated FLS. Flow cytometry analyses were used to analyse the impact of radiation (0.1, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 Gy) on the phenotype of macrophages in the presence or absence of SN of FLS. LD-RT had no impact on cytokine-mediated macrophage polarization in M0, M1, or M2 macrophages. However, SN of irradiated FLS particularly reduced CD206 expression on macrophages. Macrophage phenotype was stable when being in contact with SN of nonirradiated FLS, but significantly increased surface expression of CD206 and slightly decreased CD80 and CD86 expression were observed when macrophage themselves were irradiated with 0.5 Gy under these microenvironmental conditions, again highlighting discontinuous dose dependencies in the low and intermediate dose range. One can conclude that FLS-dependent microenvironmental conditions have a slight influence on the modulation of macrophage phenotype under radiation exposure conditions. Future studies are needed to reveal the impact of radiation exposure on the functions of treated macrophages under such microenvironmental conditions.