Effect of topical treatments including steroid and barrier film spray on pro-inflammatory cytokines in skin and subcutaneous tissues after irradiation by real-time RT-PCR. The mRNA levels of the cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1α/β and TGF-β were quantified by real-time RT-PCR. RNA were extracted from murine tissues (a) 24 h; (b) 7 days after irradiation. The results were normalized to the value of irradiated mice. The y-axis shows the RNA ratio of each target gene divided by that in the irradiated mice. Columns, means of 3 separate experiments; bars, SD. *, P < 0.05. Twenty- four hours after irradiation, topical steroid cream significantly attenuated the increase of pro-inflammatory cytokines in cutaneous tissues, but barrier film spray had no effect Furthermore, both topical treatments alleviated the RT-induced inflammatory response, and that steroid cream had a greater effect than barrier film spray 7 days after irradiation.