Radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis: examination of chemokine and chemokine receptor families

Radiat Res. 2002 Mar;157(3):256-65. doi: 10.1667/0033-7587(2002)157[0256:ripfeo]2.0.co;2.


Fibrosis is a common outcome of chronic inflammation or injury. Pulmonary fibrosis may be the result of abnormal repair after an acute inflammatory response. The process of repair initiated by a tissue insult is largely a function of the activation of cells to produce important biological mediators such as cytokines, growth factors and chemokines, which orchestrate most aspects of the inflammatory response. Consequently, altered regulation of the production of inflammatory cell cytokines and chemokines after injury and repair likely contributes to the fibrosis. Our hypothesis is that chronic expression of specific chemokine and chemokine receptors during the fibrotic phase induced by thoracic irradiation may perpetuate the recruitment and activation of lymphocytes and macrophages, which may contribute to the development of fibrosis. Fibrosis-sensitive (C57BL/6) and fibrosis-resistant (C3H/HeJ) mice were irradiated with a single dose of 12.5 Gy to the thorax. Total lung RNA was prepared and hybridized using microarray analysis and RNase protection assays. At 26 weeks postirradiation, messages encoding the chemokines BLC (now known as Scyb13), C10 (now known as Scya6), IP-10 (now known as Scyb10), MCP-1 (now known as Scya2), MCP-3 (now known as Scya7), MIP-1gamma (now known as Scya9), and RANTES (now known as Scya5) and the chemokine receptors Ccr1, Ccr2, Ccr5 and Ccr6 were elevated in fibrosis-sensitive (C57BL/6) mice. In contrast, only the messages encoding SDF-1alpha (now known as Sdf1) and Ccr1 were elevated 26 weeks postirradiation in fibrosis-resistant (C3H/HeJ) mice. Our results point to the CC and CCR family members as the predominant chemokine responders during the development of fibrosis. These studies suggest that monocyte/macrophage and lymphocyte recruitment and activation are key components of radiation-induced fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokines / genetics
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Radiation, Ionizing*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / physiology*


  • Chemokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Chemokine