Lymphomas growing in the central nervous system exhibit resistance to radiotherapy compared to lymphomas of the lymph nodes. Because astrocytes have been shown to reduce radiation-induced neuronal toxicity, this study hypothesized that astrocytes might protect lymphoma cells from radiation-induced cell killing.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A human lymphoma cell line, H9, and normal human astrocytes were grown in culture, exposed to radiation and assessed for cell viability, radiation sensitivity, glutathione content, induction of apoptosis and cell-cycle distribution.
Cell survival assays demonstrated that H9 cells growing in an astrocyte-monolayer and also in an astrocyte-conditioned medium displayed radioresistance compared with H9 cells growing under standard conditions. The radioresistance correlated with accumulation of H9 cells in the G(2) phase of the cell cycle, suppression of radiation-induced apoptosis and coincided with a moderate increase in glutathione.
The findings of this study suggest that astrocytes may play a role in the radioresistance exhibited by lymphomas of the central nervous system.