Our goal is to develop lisinopril as a mitigator of delayed effects of acute radiation exposure in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases program for radiation countermeasures. Published studies demonstrated mitigation of delayed effects of acute radiation exposure by lisinopril in adult rats. However, juvenile or old rats beyond their reproductive lifespans have never been tested. Since no preclinical models of delayed effects of acute radiation exposure were available in these special populations, appropriate rat models were developed to test lisinopril after irradiation. Juvenile (42-d-old, prepubertal) female and male WAG/RijCmcr (Wistar) rats were given 13-Gy partial-body irradiation with only part of one hind limb shielded. Lethality from lung injury between 39–58 d and radiation nephropathy between 106–114 d were recorded. All irradiated-only juvenile rats were morbid from delayed effects of acute radiation exposure by 114 d, while lisinopril (24 mg m−2 d−1) started 7 d after irradiation and continued improved survival to 88% (p = 0.0015, n ≥ 8/group). Old rats (>483-d-old, reproductively senescent) were irradiated with 13-Gy partial-body irradiation keeping part of one leg shielded and additionally shielding the head in some animals. Irradiated old females developed lethal nephropathy, and all became morbid by 170 d after irradiation, though no rats displayed lethal radiation pneumonitis. Similar results were observed for irradiated geriatric males, though 33% of rats remained alive at 180 d after irradiation. Lisinopril mitigated radiation nephropathy in old rats of both sexes. Finally, comparison of delayed effects of acute radiation exposure between irradiated juvenile, adult, and old rats showed younger rats were more sensitive to delayed effects of acute radiation exposure with earlier manifestation of injuries to some organs.
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI;
2Department of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI;
3Research Service, Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI;
4Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
For correspondence contact Meetha Medhora, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Manuscript accepted 4 September 2018)