Radiation-induced damage to brain tissue reversed by oxygen starvation in mice

Treating brain tumors with whole brain radiation therapy can damage healthy brain tissue, but a new study in mice reveals that limiting the oxygen supply, or hypoxia, can alleviate some of the cognitive impairment caused by the radiation. The results are reported in the Jan. 18 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, led by William Sonntag of University of Oklahoma, exposed the mice to a clinically relevant regimen of radiation, which caused of spatial learning starting about two months post-radiation.

However, when mice were treated with chronic hypoxia for about three weeks, beginning one month after radiation exposure, they showed significant improvement in this area, which was maintained for at least two months after returning to normal oxygen levels.

The radiation treatment also caused an early decline in contextual learning and memory, but these deficiencies were transient and dissipated within three months post-radiation.

More information: Warrington JP, Csiszar A, Mitschelen M, Lee YW, Sonntag WE (2012) Whole Brain Radiation-Induced Impairments in Learning and Memory Are Time-Sensitive and Reversible by Systemic Hypoxia. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030444

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exercise can aid recovery after brain radiation

Oct 18, 2009

Exercise is a key factor in improving both memory and mood after whole-brain radiation treatments in rodents, according to data presented by Duke University scientists at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Hyperoxia may slow formation of wrinkles

Jun 29, 2010

It's no secret that UVB radiation from the sun causes wrinkles. However, a Japanese study published in the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology indicates that oxygen may he ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments