Glucose metabolism gene expression patterns and tumor uptake of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose after radiation treatment

George D. Wilson, Bryan J. Thibodeau, Laura E. Fortier, Barbara L. Pruetz, Sandra Galoforo, Andrew M. Baschnagel, John Chunta, Ching Yee Oliver Wong, Di Yan, Brian Marples, Jiayi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate whether radiation treatment influences the expression of glucose metabolism genes and compromises the potential use of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) as a tool to monitor the early response of head and neck cancer xenografts to radiation therapy (RT).

Methods and Materials: Low passage head and neck squamous cancer cells (UT14) were injected to the flanks of female nu/nu mice to generate xenografts. After tumors reached a size of 500 mm3 they were treated with either sham RT or 15 Gy in 1 fraction. At different time points, days 3, 9, and 16 for controls and days 4, 7, 12, 21, 30, and 40 after irradiation, 2 to 3 mice were assessed with dynamic FDG-PET acquisition over 2 hours. Immediately after the FDG-PET the tumors were harvested for global gene expression analysis and immunohistochemical evaluation of GLUT1 and HK2. Different analytic parameters were used to process the dynamic PET data.

Results: Radiation had no effect on key genes involved in FDG uptake and metabolism but did alter other genes in the HIF1α and glucose transporterelated pathways. In contrast to the lack of effect on gene expression, changes in the protein expression patterns of the key genes GLUT1/SLC2A1 and HK2 were observed after radiation treatment. The changes in GLUT1 protein expression showed some correlation with dynamic FDG-PET parameters, such as the kinetic index.

Conclusion: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography changes after RT would seem to represent an altered metabolic state and not a direct effect on the key genes regulating FDG uptake and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-627
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


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