Whole body hyperthermia: A potent radioprotector in vivo

Rong Nian Shen, Ned B. Hornback, Homayoon Shidnia, Bo Wu, Li Lu, Hal E. Broxmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Interleukin-1 has been reported to be an effective radioprotective agent in mice subjected to lethal doses of irradiation. Production of Interleukin-1 can be increased by whole body hyperthermia. Therefore, whole body hyperthermia was assessed for its efficacy in protecting the lethal effects of ionizing radiation in DBA/2 mice. One hour of 40°C ± 0.2 whole body hyperthermia given 20 hr before 900 cGy total body irradiation protected 100% of DBA/2 mice from an LD 100/16 radiation dose (dose of irradiation that killed 100% of the mice in 16 days). Lethal doses of total body irradiation produced profound monocytopenia, decreased cellularity of thymus, spleen, and bone marrow, and suppressed Interleukin-1 production. Interleukin-1 production was determined using the thymocyte proliferation assay. Whole body hyperthermia accelerated recovery of blood leukocytes by up to 5 days post-total body irradiation in DBA/2 mice. Thymocytes, spleen, and bone marrow cells were activated by whole body hyperthermia, as assessed by the cell's response to Concanavalin A. This was accompanied by accelerated Interleukin-1 generation. Our results provide the first evidence that whole body hyperthermia acts as a potent radioprotector in vivo, effects that may be mediated by Interleukin-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991


  • Interleukin-1
  • Radioprotector
  • Total body irradiation
  • Whole body hyperthermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation

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