Skin wound trauma, following high-dose radiation exposure, amplifies and prolongs skeletal tissue loss

Joshua M. Swift, Sibyl N. Swift, Joan T. Smith, Juliann G. Kiang, Matthew R. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the detrimental effects of non-lethal, high-dose (whole body) γ-irradiation on bone, and the impact that radiation combined with skin trauma (i.e. combined injury) has on long-term skeletal tissue health. Recovery of bone after an acute dose of radiation (RI; 8. Gy), skin wounding (15-20% of total body skin surface), or combined injury (RI. +. Wound; CI) was determined 3, 7, 30, and 120. days post-irradiation in female B6D2F1 mice and compared to non-irradiated mice (SHAM) at each time-point. CI mice demonstrated long-term (day 120) elevations in serum TRAP 5b (osteoclast number) and sclerostin (bone formation inhibitor), and suppression of osteocalcin levels through 30. days as compared to SHAM (p. <. 0.05). Radiation-induced reductions in distal femur trabecular bone volume fraction and trabecular number through 120. days post-exposure were significantly greater than non-irradiated mice (p. <. 0.05) and were exacerbated in CI mice by day 30 (p. <. 0.05). Negative alterations in trabecular bone microarchitecture were coupled with extended reductions in cancellous bone formation rate in both RI and CI mice as compared to Sham (p. <. 0.05). Increased osteoclast surface in CI animals was observed for 3. days after irradiation and remained elevated through 120. days (p. <. 0.01). These results demonstrate a long-term, exacerbated response of bone to radiation when coupled with non-lethal wound trauma. Changes in cancellous bone after combined trauma were derived from extended reductions in osteoblast-driven bone formation and increases in osteoclast activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Bone biomarkers
  • Bone marrow
  • Combined trauma
  • Murine
  • Osteoclast
  • Trabecular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology

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