Erasmus MC Rotterdam (The Netherlands, Pier G. Mastroberardino)

Website: www.erasmusmc.nl


Contribution to CEREBRAD

In the CEREBRAD project, the Erasmus MC performs mechanistic studies to unravel critical functional consequences of low-dose irradiation exposure in the brain, with particular focus on the dopaminergic system. These circuits are particularly sensitive to oxidation and their derangement results in motor and/or neuropsychiatric disorders. their studies demonstrate that exposure of young mice to as little as 0.1 Gy results in persistent induction of markers of neuropathology in the dopaminergic system, for instance neuronal oxidation and activation of astrocytes, which can be detected even after several weeks of irradiation. These alterations are paralleled by functional anomalies and in particular by sustained defects in mitochondrial respiration. Ongoing investigations will lead to a more in-depth characterization of low-dose irradiation effects on the dopaminergic system and explore its consequences at later time points (i.e. 6 months) after irradiation. Overall, this research aims to better understand the insidious consequence of low-dose irradiation exposure on the brain.


Activated astrocytes (red), which indicate neuronal sufferance and pathology, are in intimate contact with dopaminergic terminals (green) in the striatum of irradiated mice. The right panel depicts a magnification of the area within the dashed box in the left image.