Radiation-induced changes in bone perfusion and angiogenesis

Paul Okunieff, Xin Wang, Philip Rubin, Jacob N. Finkelstein, Louis S. Constine, Ivan Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether blood flow of bone is altered by limb irradiation and whether bFGF, an angiogenic cytokine, might alleviate any flow or growth abnormality resulting from 30 Gy single fraction irradiation. Methods and Materials: C3H mice received whole right hind limb radiation at doses of 0 to 30 Gy. Additional groups received 30 Gy, and then beginning 1 or 5 weeks later received intravenous bFGF at a dose of 6 μg/mouse, twice a week for 4 weeks. Serial X-ray films were taken to' measure the tibias. At 33 weeks, laser Doppler flow (LDF) measurements were made of both limbs. Cytokine measurements were made using ELISA and RNase protection. Results: Bone growth was reduced following radiation in a dose dependent manner. bFGF improved bone growth after radiation even when begun 5 weeks after radiation, however, we detected no significant improvement in LDF of the irradiated bone or periosteum. Muscle tissue surrounding bone of the irradiated leg showed no increase in isoforms of TGF/β, TNF, or IFN. There was also no difference in the circulating plasma TGFβ1 in irradiated mice. In contrast, LDF increased significantly as a function of radiation dose in the nonirradiated tibia. Systemic delivery of bFGF appears to further enhance the increase in flow seen in the nonirradiated limb. Conclusion: Radiation induces a chronic antiangiogenic effect contributing to reduced limb growth. At 33 weeks the antiangiogenesis was not associated with local soft tissue elevations of TNF, IFN, or TGFβ. Radiation toxicity to bone is alleviated by hFGF therapy suggesting that powerful locally-acting antiangiogenic mechanisms are involved. We postulate that the increased LDF of the contralateral tibia is due to circulating angiogenesis factors that are elevated to compensate for the radiation-induced antiangiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-889
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Radiation Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and 2-P01-CA11051-2582. We also wish to thank Ming Li, Hjeer Sabet, and Kundi Huang for valuable technical and collaborative support.


  • AFGF
  • BFGF
  • IFN
  • IGF
  • LDF
  • TGFβ
  • TNF

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