The detonation of an improvised nuclear device during a radiological terrorist attack could result in the exposure of thousands of civilians and first responders to lethal or potentially lethal doses of ionizing radiation (IR). There is a major effort in the United States to develop phamacological mitigators of radiation lethality that would be effective particularly if administered after irradiation. We show here that giving female C57BL/6 mice a subcutaneous surgical incision after whole body exposure to an LD50/30 X-ray dose protects against radiation lethality and increases survival from 50% to over 90% (P = 0.0001). The increase in survival, at least in part, appears to be due to enhanced recovery of hematopoiesis, notably red blood cells, neutrophils and platelets. While a definitive mechanism has yet to be elucidated, we propose that this approach may be used to identify potentially novel mechanisms and pathways that could aid in the development of novel pharmacological radiation countermeasures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging