Image_1_Transient Inhibition of mTORC1 Signaling Ameliorates Irradiation-Induced Liver Damage.TIF

Recurrent liver cancer after surgery is often treated with radiotherapy, which induces liver damage. It has been documented that activation of the TGF-β and NF-κB signaling pathways plays important roles in irradiation-induced liver pathologies. However, the significance of mTOR signaling remains undefined after irradiation exposure. In the present study, we investigated the effects of inhibiting mTORC1 signaling on irradiated livers. Male C57BL/6J mice were acutely exposed to 8.0 Gy of X-ray total body irradiation and subsequently treated with rapamycin. The effects of rapamycin treatment on irradiated livers were examined at days 1, 3, and 7 after exposure. The results showed that 8.0 Gy of irradiation resulted in hepatocyte edema, hemorrhage, and sinusoidal congestion along with a decrease of ALB expression. Exposure of mice to irradiation significantly activated the mTORC1 signaling pathway determined by pS6 and p-mTOR expression via western blot and immunostaining. Transient inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin treatment consistently accelerated liver recovery from irradiation, which was evidenced by decreasing sinusoidal congestion and increasing ALB expression after irradiation. The protective role of rapamycin on irradiated livers might be mediated by decreasing cellular apoptosis and increasing autophagy. These data suggest that transient inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin protects livers against irradiation-induced damage.