Artificial vessel wall cultures, constructed by growing arterial endothelial cells on preformed layers of rat smooth muscle cells, were used to evaluate the effects of X-irradiation on tumor cell-induced tissue degradation. Bovine endothelial cells had radiation sensitivities similar to those of rat smooth muscle cells. Preirradiation of smooth muscle cells, before the addition of human fibrosarcoma (HT 1080) cells, did not increase the rate of degradation and destruction by the invasive cells. However, the degradation rate was decreased if the cultures were irradiated after the addition of HT 1080 cells. The presence of bovine endothelial cells markedly inhibited the destructive abilities of fibrosarcoma cells, but preirradiation of artificial vessel walls substantially decreased their capabilities to resist HT 1080-induced lysis. These findings suggest that the abilities of blood vessels to limit extravasation may be compromised by ionizing radiation.

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Supported in part by Grants CA-25397 and HL-23500 from the NIH, Fellowship 1F32 CA 06995 from the NIH, and the Cameron Stuart Smith Chair in radiation oncology research.

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