Combination of pre-operative radiotherapy and surgery suppresses local accumulation of collagen and TGF-beta 1 in rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. The systemic and local tissue repair responses of radiation in combination with surgery are still unclear. We have studied the effect of fractionated pre-operative radiotherapy with or without subsequent laparotomy on collagen accumulation using a rodent model. Materials and methods. Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups (eight rats per group): 1) sham radiation and sham laparotomy (control); 2) sham radiation and laparotomy; 3) radiation and sham laparotomy; and 4) radiation followed by laparotomy. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) tubes were implanted subcutaneously in the abdominal wall in the radiotherapy field and on the back outside the radiotherapy field day 0. The abdomen (3 cm x 4 cm) was irradiated day 3 (10 Gy) and again day 7 (10 Gy). On day 10, implants were extirpated, laparotomy undertaken in groups 2 and 4 and new ePTFE tubes implanted subcutaneously. The second implants were extirpated on day 20. Implants were analyzed for hydroxyproline, total protein and transforming growth factor-ss 1 (TGF-ss 1) levels. Results. On day 10, hydroxyproline (P < 0.05) and TGF-ss 1 (P < 0.001) were lower in ePTFE tubes in irra-diated compared with non-irradiated rats. On day 20, the abdominal ePTFE hydroxyproline remained low (P < 0.001) in animals subjected to laparotomy and pre-operative irradiation while hydroxyproline levels of rats subjected to irradiation only were similar to controls. The effects of radiation on hydroxyproline were confined to the irradiated abdominal area. There was a positive correlation between hydroxyproline and TGF-ss 1 levels in the abdominal wall implant day 20 (r = 0.53, P < 0.005). Conclusion. A clinically relevant fractionated radiation scheme reduced subcutaneous collagen accumulation pre-operatively and profoundly within the radiation field post-operatively after laparotomy, possibly because of lowered TGF ss 1 levels. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • transforming growth factor beta, collagen, radiation injuries, healing, wound
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Medical Radiology Unit (013241410), Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200), Surgery Research Unit (013242220), Department of Translational Medicine (013017500)