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Ionizing radiation-induced (osteo)immunological gender- and age-specific effects

About the Project:

Age, sex and inflammatory background have an impact on the immune system, a fact that is well known in the medical field where e.g. gender-specific efficacies of pharmaceuticals are common. Some of these influences are already known for radiation exposure, where women have shown to exploit an increased risk for solid tumors than men after exposition to radiation. Similar, preclinical studies revealed sex-specific differences in DNA-mediated radiation response. Further, it is known, that during the process of aging, the immune system is subject to change (“inflammaging”). Likewise, inflammatory processes, that often arise with aging, have an influence on the immune response. Even though the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) as well as the Strahlenschutzkommission (Commission on Radiological Protection) in Germany have acknowledged that there are most likely sex-and age-specific differences in radiation response, neither suggests specific thresholds or guidelines. Also, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) agrees on these differences. However, in order to define specific threshold values, a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms is required. The project “TOGETHER” thus focuses on taking a closer look in the gender-, age- and inflammatory status-related effects in response to low doses of ionizing radiation. Here, next to X-rays, the group focuses on the effects of radon, mixed beam irradiation, and protons on the immune system in settings representing groups of various age, health status and profession to help to expand the existing thresholds and guidelines in order to optimize radiation protection.


Multicolor Flow Cytometry, (Endpoint) PCR, Quantitative PCR, ELISA, Primary Cell Cultures, Preclinical Model Systems, Histology, Histomorphometry, MSD System (Multi-Array Technology), Low-Dose Radiotherapy (X-rays), Radon Chamber (at GSI), Standard Molecular Techniques, Microscopic Analysis

Selected Publications:

Low-Dose Irradiation Differentially Impacts Macrophage Phenotype in Dependence of Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes and Radiation Dose. L. Deloch*, J. Fuchs*, M. Rückert, R. Fietkau, B. Frey, US. Gaipl Journal of immunology research. 2019:3161750 (2019)

Low-dose radiotherapy has no harmful effects on key cells of healthy non-inflamed joints. L. Deloch, M. Rückert, R. Fietkau, B. Frey, U.S. Gaipl International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(10) (2018)

Clinically Relevant Radiation Exposure Differentially Impacts Forms of Cell Death in Human Cells of the Innate and Adaptive Immune System. S. Falcke, P.F. Rühle , L. Deloch , R. Fietkau , B. Frey, U.S. Gaipl International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(11) (2018)