Influence of X-ray on the autophagic-lysosomal system in rat pancreatic acini

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Lysosomes have an important role in radiation injury of cells and tissues. Activation of autophagy is frequently observed in different types of pathological tissue degeneration. In radiation response it increases in some cases, and lysosomes are responsible for regulated degradation of the autophagic vacuoles. Lysosomes are also involved in ionizing radiation induced cell death. In apoptosis lysosomes degrade content of the phagocytotic vacuoles derived from engulfed apoptotic blebs. On the other hand lysosomal enzymes discharged from disintegrated cells have a key role in induction of necrotic changes. In this work we investigate autophagy and lysosomal protein degradation in the relatively radiation insensitive exocrine pancreatic acini in vivo and in vitro. Type of cell death induced by X-ray was also examined in relation to the changes of the lysosomal processes. In 5 h after 16 Gy in vivo whole body irradiation we observed significant increase in the cytoplasmic volume fraction of autophagic vacuoles and in the number of apoptotic cells in vivo. But in the acini isolated from irradiated rats we could not detect a change in the lysosomal degradation of intracellular proteins. Therefore irradiation probably influences the autophagy in an earlier step than lysosomal degradation. Extended necrotic lesions were not observed in vivo as long as 48 h. Isolated pancreatic acini usually contain more autophagic vacuoles than in vivo, but we could not observe additional increase in autophagy after 8 Gy, in vitro irradiation. Lysosomal degradation of intracellular proteins was also unaltered after 8 Gy, in vitro irradiation. Other biochemical functional parameters of the isolated pancreatic acini, like protein synthesis and amylase secretion were not changed either after 8 Gy, in vitro X-ray treatment. These results indicate that pancreatic acinar cells in vitro have a high tolerance to irradiation. The observed in vivo radiation induced changes of the exocrine pancreas are possibly indirectly induced by injuries of more sensitive mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Cell Biology

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