Fat Tissue Is Sensitive to Irradiation
Researchers led by Dr. Béatrice Cousin at Institut Louis Bugnard found that irradiation damages fat tissue. They report their findings in the January 2009 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.
Radiation therapy directed at cancer management also damages normal tissues. Autologous transplant of tissues such as fat tissue has often been used to prevent the fibrosis, organ dysfunction, and necrosis that result from radiation treatment; however, the effects of radiation on the transplanted fat tissue had not been studied.
Dr. Cousin's group characterized adipose tissue isolated from mice after total body irradiation. They found that fat pads weighed significantly less post-irradiation and had decreased adipocyte size and a reduced number of mature adipocytes. Poglio et al also observed severe decreases in the number of proliferating cells and increases in the number of dying cells.
Taken together, the data from Dr. Cousin's group suggest that "in terms of therapeutics, these acute affects may modify the reconstructive capacity of adipose tissue and therefore its use in autologous fat tissue transfer after irradiation." These results call into question the effectiveness of transplanting adipose tissue during radiation therapy.
Poglio S, Galvani S, Bour S, André M, Prunet-Marcassus B, Pénicaud L, Casteilla L, Cousin B: Adipose Tissue Sensitivity to Radiation Exposure. Am J Pathol 2009, 174:44-53