p38 MAPK Inhibitor Insufficiently Attenuates HSC Senescence Administered Long-Term after 6 Gy Total Body Irradiation in Mice
Senescent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) accumulate with age and exposure to stress, such as total-body irradiation (TBI), which may cause long-term myelosuppression in the clinic. However, the methods available for long-term myelosuppression remain limited. Previous studies have demonstrated that sustained p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38 MAPK) activation in HSCs following exposure to TBI in mice and the administration of its inhibitor twenty-four hours after TBI may partially prevent long-termmyelosuppression. However, long-term myelosuppression is latent and identified long after the administration of radiation. In this study, we investigated the effects of SB203580 (a small molecule inhibitor of p38 MAPK) on long-term myelosuppression induced by TBI. Mice with hematopoietic injury were injected intraperitoneally with SB203580 every other day five times beginning 70 days after 6Gy of (137)Cs γ ray TBI. Our results at 80 days demonstrated that SB203580 did not significantly improve the TBI-induced long-termreduction of peripheral blood cell and bone marrow nucleated cell (BMNC) counts, or defects in hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) and HSC clonogenic function. SB203580 reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and p-p38 expression; however, SB203580 had no effect on p16 expression in the HSCs of mice. In conclusion, these findings suggest that treatment with SB203580 70 days after TBI in mice inhibits the ROS-p38 oxidative stress pathway; however, it has no therapeutic effect on long-termmyelosuppression induced by TBI.