Noninvasive assessment of radiation-induced renal injury in mice

Anis Ahmad, Junwei Shi, Saba Ansari, Jumana Afaghani, Judith Molina, Alan Pollack, Sandra Merscher, Youssef Zeidan, Alessia Fornoni, Brian Marples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The kidney is a radiosensitive late-responding normal tissue. Injury is characterized by radiation nephropathy and decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The current study aimed to compare two rapid and cost-effective methodologies of assessing GFR against more conventional biomarker measurements. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were treated with bilateral focal X-irradiation (1x14Gy or 5x6Gy). Functional measurements of kidney injury were assessed 20 weeks post-treatment. GFR was estimated using a transcutaneous measurement of fluorescein-isothiocyanate conjugated (FITC)-sinistrin renal excretion and also dynamic contrast-enhanced CT imaging with a contrast agent (ISOVUE-300 Iopamidol). Results: Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Periodic acid-Schiff staining identified comparable radiation-induced glomerular atrophy and mesangial matrix accumulation after both radiation schedules, respectively, although the fractionated regimen resulted in less diffuse tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Albumin-to-creatinine ratios (ACR) increased after irradiation (1x14Gy: 100.4 ± 12.2 µg/mg; 6x5Gy: 80.4 ± 3.02 µg/mg) and were double that of nontreated controls (44.9 ± 3.64 µg/mg). GFR defined by both techniques was negatively correlated with BUN, mesangial expansion score, and serum creatinine. The FITC-sinistrin transcutaneous method was more rapid and can be used to assess GFR in conscious animals, dynamic contrast-enhanced CT imaging technique was equally safe and effective. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that GFR measured by dynamic contrast-enhanced CT imaging is safe and effective compared to transcutaneous methodology to estimate kidney function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-674
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Radiobiology
  • irradiation
  • mouse
  • renal damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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