Lung Organotypic Slices Enable Rapid Quantification of Acute Radiotherapy Induced Toxicity

Nom de la revue
Maxime Dubail, Sophie Heinrich, Lucie Portier, Jessica Bastian, Lucia Giuliano, Lilia Aggar, Nathalie Berthault, José-Arturo Londoño-Vallejo, Marta Vilalta, Gael Boivin, Ricky A. Sharma, Marie Dutreix, Charles Fouillade

To rapidly assess healthy tissue toxicities induced by new anti-cancer therapies (i.e., radiation alone or in combination with drugs), there is a critical need for relevant and easy-to-use models. Consistent with the ethical desire to reduce the use of animals in medical research, we propose to monitor lung toxicity using an ex vivo model. Briefly, freshly prepared organotypic lung slices from mice were irradiated, with or without being previously exposed to chemotherapy, and treatment toxicity was evaluated by analysis of cell division and viability of the slices. When exposed to different doses of radiation, this ex vivo model showed a dose-dependent decrease in cell division and viability. Interestingly, monitoring cell division was sensitive enough to detect a sparing effect induced by FLASH radiotherapy as well as the effect of combined treatment. Altogether, the organotypic lung slices can be used as a screening platform to rapidly determine in a quantitative manner the level of lung toxicity induced by different treatments alone or in combination with chemotherapy while drastically reducing the number of animals. Translated to human lung samples, this ex vivo assay could serve as an innovative method to investigate patients’ sensitivity to radiation and drugs.