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Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1830849, 8 pages
Research Article

A Therapeutic Role for Survivin in Mitigating the Harmful Effects of Ionizing Radiation

1The University of Toledo College of Medicine, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
2The Ohio State University Department of Plastic Surgery, 915 Olentangy River Road, Suite 2100, Columbus, OH 43212, USA
3The Ohio State University Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, 370 West 9th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
4Midwest Breast and Aesthetic Surgery, 1329 Cherry Way Drive, Suite 200, Gahanna, OH 43230, USA

Received 21 December 2015; Accepted 27 March 2016

Academic Editor: Mustafa Benekli

Copyright © 2016 Katherine H. Carruthers et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Radiation therapy is a form of adjuvant care used in many oncological treatment protocols. However, nonmalignant neighboring tissues are harmed as a result of this treatment. Therefore, the goal of this study was to induce the production of survivin, an antiapoptotic protein, to determine if this protein could provide protection to noncancerous cells during radiation exposure. Methods. Using a murine model, a recombinant adenoassociated virus (rAAV) was used to deliver survivin to the treatment group and yellow fluorescence protein (YFP) to the control group. Both groups received targeted radiation. Visual inspection, gait analysis, and tissue histology were used to determine the extent of damage caused by the radiation. Results. The YFP group demonstrated ulceration of the irradiated area while the survivin treated mice exhibited only hair loss. Histology showed that the YFP treated mice experienced dermal thickening, as well as an increase in collagen that was not present in the survivin treated mice. Gait analysis demonstrated a difference between the two groups, with the YFP mice averaging a lower speed. Conclusions. The use of gene-modification to induce survivin expression in normal tissues allows for the protection of nontarget areas from the negative side effects normally associated with ionizing radiation.