The purpose of this study was to map the common deletion (CD) area in mtDNA and investigate the levels of this deletion in irradiated heart. The assays were developed in male Wistar rats that were irradiated with three different single doses (5, 10 or 15 Gy) delivered directly to the heart and the analyses were performed at various times post-irradiation (3, 15 or 120 days). The CDs area were sequenced and the CD quantified by real-time PCR. Our study demonstrated that the CD levels progressively decreased from the 3rduntil the 15th day after irradiation, and then increased thereafter. Additionally, it was observed that the levels of CD are modulated differently according to the different categories of doses (moderate and high). This study demonstrated an immediate response to ionizing radiation, measured by the presence of mutations in the CD area and a decrease in the CD levels.
cardiovascular complications; common mitochondrial DNA deletion; mediastinal tumours; radiotherapy