Low-dose radiation-induced apoptosis in human leukemia K562 cells through mitochondrial pathways.

Molecular medicine reports

PubMedID: 25060925

Xin Y, Zhang HB, Tang TY, Liu GH, Wang JS, Jiang G, Zhang LZ. Low-dose radiation-induced apoptosis in human leukemia K562 cells through mitochondrial pathways. Mol Med Rep. 2014;10(3):1569-75.
High-dose total body irradiation (TBI) has an established role as preparative regimen for bone-marrow transplantation in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), but this regimen still has a relatively high rate of acute and late toxicity. Low-dose radiation (LDR) induces apoptosis of tumor cells and has numerous beneficial effects on normal tissues, including radiation homeostasis and adaptive response. Based on the previous evidence, in the present study, K562 cells were exposed to LDR, high-dose radiation (HDR), and LDR in combination with HDR to investigate the possible mechanism of the apoptotic effect and hypersensitivity induced by LDR. The apoptotic rate increased in all radiation groups in a time-dependent manner. An upregulation of Bax protein expression and a downregulation of Bcl-xl in a dose-dependent manner in human leukemia K562 cells was observed. However, the expression of p53 protein did not change in all of the radiation cell groups. The mitochondrial membrane potential (??m) in K562 cells decreased in all of the radiation cell groups in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the decrease of ??m was enhanced in the LDR/HDR group compared with that in the LDR or HDR groups. The activity of caspase-3 was enhanced in all of the radiation groups. In the LDR/HDR group, the activity of caspase-3 was higher than that in the HDR or LDR groups. The present study provided preliminary experimental evidence of LDR being beneficial in combination with TBI in the treatment of CML.