NF-κB Blockade by NEMO Binding Domain Peptide Ameliorates Inflammation and Neurobehavioral Sequelae After Cranial Radiation Therapy in Juvenile Mice

Christine A. Beamish, Janice A. Zawaski, Taeko Inoue, Poonam Sarkar, David R. Grosshans, Omaima M. Sabek, M. Waleed Gaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Cranial radiation therapy (CRT) is a common treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients. However, side effects include significant neurobehavioral dysfunction in survivors. This dysfunction may in part be caused by inflammation, including increased production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and its receptor TNFR1, which can activate the nuclear factor kappa light-chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB). The TNFα blockade abrogates this inflammatory response, although it presents immunologic risks. Thus, modulation of pathway subsets may be preferable. Here, we test whether inhibition of NF-κB activation using an NF-κB essential modulator binding domain (NBD) peptide mitigates CRT-induced neuroinflammation and improves behavioral outcomes. Methods and Materials: Male C57BL/6J 28-day old mice were randomized to saline (sham), 5 Gy whole-brain CRT, or CRT + NBD-peptide. Brain tissue was collected after 4 hours or 3 months for Western blot or immunohistochemistry. The cortex, corpus callosum (CC), and dentate gyrus were variably imaged for NF-κB-p65, IκBα, proliferation, apoptosis, necroptosis, TNFα, TNFR1, IBA-1, doublecortin, CD11c, and GFAP. Neurobehavioral changes were assessed by open field and elevated plus maze tests 3 months post-CRT. Results: NF-κB expression increased in whole and nuclear fractions 4 hours after CRT and was abrogated by NBD treatment. Cell death increased and proliferation decreased after CRT, including within neuronal progenitors, with some loss mitigated by NBD. Increased levels of TNFα, IBA-1, and GFAP were found in the CC and cortex months after CRT and were limited by NBD. The anti-NF-κB peptide also improved neurobehavioral assessments, yielding improvements in anxiety and exploration. Conclusions: Results suggest a role for NF-κB modulation by NBD peptide in the reduction of neuroinflammation and mitigation of behavioral complications after pediatric radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1508-1520
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume109
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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