Effects of low-dose irradiation on mice with Escherichia coli-induced sepsis

Kyung Hee Song, Seung Youn Jung, Seong Ho Kho, Sang Gu Hwang, Hunjoo Ha, Seon Young Nam, Jie Young Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although favorable immune responses to low-dose irradiation (LDI) have been observed in normal mice, i.e., a hormesis effect, little is known about the effects of LDI in infectious diseases. In this study, we examined the effects of LDI on mice with sepsis, a severe and often lethal hyperinflammatory response to bacteria. Female C57BL/6 mice were whole-body irradiated with 10 cGy 48 h before Escherichia coli infection, and survival, bacterial clearance, cytokines, and antioxidants were quantified. LDI pretreatment significantly increased survival from 46.7% in control mice to 75% in mice with sepsis. The bacterial burden was significantly lower in the blood, spleen, and kidney of LDI-treated mice than in those of control septic mice. The levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-1β and IL-6, as well as anti-inflammatory IL-10 were markedly reduced in pre-LDI septic mice. Nitric oxide production by peritoneal macrophages was also reduced in pre-LDI septic mice. Immune cells in the spleen increased and Nrf2 and HO-1 were induced in pre-LDI septic mice. LDI stimulates the immune response and minimizes lethality in septic mice via enhanced bacterial clearance and reduced initial proinflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grant no. 20131610101840 from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Antioxidant
  • Immune response
  • Inflammation
  • Low-dose irradiation
  • Sepsis


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