Superoxide mediates acute liver injury in irradiated mice lacking Sirtuin 3

Mitchell C. Coleman, Alicia K. Olivier, James A. Jacobus, Kranti A. Mapuskar, Gaowei Mao, Sean M. Martin, Dennis P. Riley, David Gius, Douglas R. Spitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Aims: This study determined whether acute radiation-induced liver injury seen in Sirtuin3-/- mice after exposure to Cs-137 γ-rays was mediated by superoxide anion (O2•-). Results: Male wild-type (WT) and SIRT3-/- mice were given 2×2 Gy whole-body radiation doses separated by 24 h and livers were harvested 20 h after the second dose. Ex vivo measurements in fresh frozen liver sections demonstrated 50% increases in dihydroethidium oxidation from SIRT3-/- animals, relative to WT animals, before irradiation, but this increase was not detected 20 h after radiation exposure. In addition, irradiated livers from SIRT3 -/- animals showed significant hydropic degeneration, loss of MitoTracker Green FM staining, increased immunohistochemical staining for 3-nitrotyrosine, loss of Ki67 staining, and increased mitochondrial localization of p53. These parameters of radiation-induced injury were significantly attenuated by an intraperitoneal injection of 2 mg/kg of the highly specific superoxide dismutase mimic, GC4401, 30 min before each fraction. Innovation: Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is believed to regulate mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and antioxidant defenses in response to acute radiation-induced liver injury. This work provides strong evidence for the causal role of O2 •- in the liver injury process initiated by whole-body irradiation in SIRT3-/- mice. Conclusion: These results support the hypothesis that O2•- mediates acute liver injury in SIRT3-/- animals exposed to whole-body γ-radiation and suggest that GC4401 could be used as a radio-protective compound in vivo. Antioxid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1435
Number of pages13
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 20 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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