J Vet Sci.  2015 Mar;16(1):1-9. 10.4142/jvs.2015.16.1.1.

beta-irradiation (166Ho patch)-induced skin injury in mini-pigs: effects on NF-kappaB and COX-2 expression in the skin

  • 1Research Center, Dongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Busan 619-953, Korea. jskim@dirams.re.kr
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory of Radiation Exposure and Therapeutics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706, Korea.
  • 4Department Nuclear Medicine, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul 139-706, Korea. smlim328@kirams.re.kr
  • 5College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea.


In the present study, the detrimental effect of beta-emission on pig skin was evaluated. Skin injury was modeled in mini-pigs by exposing the animals to 50 and 100 Gy of beta-emission delivered by 166Ho patches. Clinicopathological and immunohistochemical changes in exposed skin were monitored for 18 weeks after beta-irradiation. Radiation induced desquamation at 2~4 weeks and gradual repair of this damage was evident 6 weeks after irradiation. Changes in basal cell density and skin depth corresponded to clinically relevant changes. Skin thickness began to decrease 1 week after irradiation, and the skin was thinnest 4 weeks after irradiation. Skin thickness increased transiently during recovery from irradiation-induced skin injury, which was evident 6~8 weeks after irradiation. Epidermal expression of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) differed significantly between the untreated and irradiated areas. One week after irradiation, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression was mostly limited to the basal cell layer and scattered among these cells. High levels of COX-2 expression were detected throughout the full depth of the skin 4 weeks after irradiation. These findings suggest that NF-kappaB and COX-2 play roles in epidermal cell regeneration following beta-irradiation of mini-pig skin.


beta-ray; irradiation; pig; skin

MeSH Terms

Cyclooxygenase 2/genetics/*metabolism
NF-kappa B/genetics/*metabolism
Radiation Injuries, Experimental/metabolism/*veterinary
Skin/metabolism/*radiation effects
Swine, Miniature
Cyclooxygenase 2
NF-kappa B
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