Differential normal skin transcriptomic response in total body irradiated mice exposed to scattered versus scanned proton beams
AbstractProton therapy allows to avoid excess radiation dose on normal tissues. However, there are some limitations. Indeed, passive delivery of proton beams results in an increase in the lateral dose upstream of the tumor and active scanning leads to strong differences in dose delivery. This study aims to assess possible differences in the transcriptomic response of skin in C57BL/6 mice after TBI irradiation by active or passive proton beams at the dose of 6 Gy compared to unirradiated mice. In that purpose, total RNA was extracted from skin samples 3 months after irradiation and RNA-Seq was performed. Results showed that active and passive delivery lead to completely different transcription profiles. Indeed, 140 and 167 genes were differentially expressed after active and passive scanning compared to unirradiated, respectively, with only one common gene corresponding to RIKEN cDNA 9930021J03. Moreover, protein–protein interactions performed by STRING analysis showed that 31 and 25 genes are functionally related after active and passive delivery, respectively, with no common gene between both types of proton delivery. Analysis showed that active scanning led to the regulation of genes involved in skin development which was not the case with passive delivery. Moreover, 14 ncRNA were differentially regulated after active scanning against none for passive delivery. Active scanning led to 49 potential mRNA-ncRNA pairs with one ncRNA mainly involved, Gm44383 which is a miRNA. The 43 genes potentially regulated by the miRNA Gm44393 confirmed an important role of active scanning on skin keratin pathway. Our results demonstrated that there are differences in skin gene expression still 3 months after proton irradiation versus unirradiated mouse skin. And strong differences do exist in late skin gene expression between scattered or scanned proton beams. Further investigations are strongly needed to understand this discrepancy and to improve treatments by proton therapy.