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Supplementary Material for: Effect of age and sex on gene expression-based radiation biodosimetry using mouse peripheral blood

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posted on 2023-03-16, 11:52 authored by Broustas C.G., Shuryak I., Duval A.J., Amundson S.A.
Blood-based gene expression profiles that can reconstruct radiation exposure are being developed as a practical approach to radiation biodosimetry. However, age and sex could potentially limit the accuracy of the approach. In this study, we determined the impact of age on the peripheral blood cell gene expression profile of female mice exposed to radiation and identified differences and similarities with a previously obtained transcriptomic signature of male mice. Young (2 months) and old (24 months) female mice were irradiated with 4 Gy X-rays, total RNA was isolated from blood 24hr later and subjected to whole genome microarray analysis. Dose reconstruction analyses using a gene signature trained on gene expression data from irradiated young male mice showed accurate reconstruction of 0 or 4 Gy doses with root mean square error of ± 0.75 Gy (R^2 = 0.90) in young female mice. Although dose reconstruction for irradiated old female mice was less accurate than young female mice, the deviation from the actual radiation dose was not statistically significant. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed that after irradiation, apoptosis-related functions were overrepresented, whereas functions related to quantities of various immune cell subtypes were underrepresented, among differentially expressed genes from young female mice, but not older animals. Furthermore, young mice significantly upregulated genes involved in phagocytosis, a process that eliminates apoptotic cells and preserves tissue homeostasis. Both functions were also overrepresented in young, but not old, male mice following 4 Gy X-irradiation. Lastly, functions associated with neutrophil activation that is essential for killing invading pathogens and regulating the inflammatory response were predicted to be uniquely enriched in young but not old female mice. This work supports the concept that peripheral blood gene expression profiles can be identified in mice that accurately predict physical radiation dose exposure irrespective of age and sex.


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