Recent epidemiological data indicate that radiation doses as low as those used in computer tomography may result in long-term neurocognitive side effects. The aim of this study was to elucidate long-term molecular alterations related to memory formation in the brain after low and moderate doses of γ radiation. Female C57BL/6J mice were irradiated on postnatal day 10 with total body doses of 0.1, 0.5, or 2.0 Gy; the control group was sham-irradiated. The proteome analysis of hippocampus, cortex, and synaptosomes isolated from these brain regions indicated changes in ephrin-related, RhoGDI, and axonal guidance signaling. Immunoblotting and miRNA-quantification demonstrated an imbalance in the synapse morphology-related Rac1-Cofilin pathway and long-term potentiation-related cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling. Proteome profiling also showed impaired oxidative phosphorylation, especially in the synaptic mitochondria. This was accompanied by an early (4 weeks) reduction of mitochondrial respiration capacity in the hippocampus. Although the respiratory capacity was restored by 24 weeks, the number of deregulated mitochondrial complex proteins was increased at this time. All observed changes were significant at doses of 0.5 and 2.0 Gy but not at 0.1 Gy. This study strongly suggests that ionizing radiation at the neonatal state triggers persistent proteomic alterations associated with synaptic impairment.

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Journal of Proteome Research
Department of Molecular Genetics

Kempf, S. J., Sepe, S., Von Toerne, C., Janik, D., Neff, F., Hauck, S., … Tapio, S. (2015). Neonatal irradiation leads to persistent proteome alterations involved in synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus and cortex. Journal of Proteome Research, 14(11), 4674–4686. doi:10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00564