With the mounting number of cancer survivors, the complications following cancer treatment become novel conundrums and starve for countermeasures. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a purified preparation for immune-deficient and autoimmune conditions.
Here, we investigated whether IVIg could be employed to fight against radiation injuries and explored the underlying mechanism.
Hematopoietic or gastrointestinal (GI) tract toxicity was induced by total body or abdominal local irradiation. High-throughput sequencing was performed to analyze the gut microbiota configurations and gene expression profile of small intestine. The untargeted metabolomics of gut microbiome was assessed by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analyses. Hydrodynamic-based gene delivery was used to knockdown the target genes in vivo.
Intravenous injection of IVIg protected against radiation-induced hematopoietic and GI tract toxicity in female mice but not in males. IVIg structured sex-characteristic gut microbiota configurations in abdominal irradiated mice. The irradiation enriched gut Lachnospiraceae in female mice but reduced those in males. IVIg injection combined with oral gavage of Lachnospiraceae or its metabolite hypoxanthine, alleviated radiation toxicity in male mice however, Lachnospiraceae or hypoxanthine alone failed to ameliorate the injuries. Abdominal local irradiation drove sex-distinct gene expression signatures in small intestine. Mechanistic investigation showed that replenishment of Lachnospiraceae or hypoxanthine offset abdominal radiation-reduced PLD1 expression in male mice. In females, irradiation elevated PLD1 expression. Deletion of PLD1 in GI tract of female mice erased the radioprotective effects of IVIg.
IVIg battles against radiation injuries in a sex-specific, gut microbiome-dependent way through Lachnospiraceae/hypoxanthine/PLD1 axis. Our findings provide a sex-precise therapeutic avenue to improve the prognosis of cancer patients with radiotherapy in pre-clinical settings.