Skin injuries reduce survival and modulate corticosterone, C-reactive protein, complement component 3, IgM, and prostaglandin E 2 after whole-body reactor-produced mixed field (n + γ-photons) irradiation

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:821541. doi: 10.1155/2013/821541. Epub 2013 Sep 18.


Skin injuries such as wounds or burns following whole-body γ-irradiation (radiation combined injury (RCI)) increase mortality more than whole-body γ-irradiation alone. Wound-induced decreases in survival after irradiation are triggered by sustained activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase pathways, persistent alteration of cytokine homeostasis, and increased susceptibility to systemic bacterial infection. Among these factors, radiation-induced increases in interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations in serum were amplified by skin wound trauma. Herein, the IL-6-induced stress proteins including C-reactive protein (CRP), complement 3 (C3), immunoglobulin M (IgM), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were evaluated after skin injuries given following a mixed radiation environment that might be found after a nuclear incident. In this report, mice received 3 Gy of reactor-produced mixed field (n + γ-photons) radiations at 0.38 Gy/min followed by nonlethal skin wounding or burning. Both wounds and burns reduced survival and increased CRP, C3, and PGE2 in serum after radiation. Decreased IgM production along with an early rise in corticosterone followed by a subsequent decrease was noted for each RCI situation. These results suggest that RCI-induced alterations of corticosterone, CRP, C3, IgM, and PGE2 cause homeostatic imbalance and may contribute to reduced survival. Agents inhibiting these responses may prove to be therapeutic for RCI and improve related survival.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Complement C3 / metabolism*
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gamma Rays
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood*
  • Mice
  • Photons
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Stress, Physiological / radiation effects
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Whole-Body Irradiation*


  • Complement C3
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Dinoprostone
  • Corticosterone