Nagler, R. M., Eichen, Y. and Nagler, A. Redox Metal Chelation Ameliorates Radiation-Induced Bone Marrow Toxicity in a Mouse Model. Radiat. Res. 156, 205–209 (2001).

Since zinc desferrioxamine (Zn-DFO) has been shown to be a very potent protector against injuries induced by redox-active metal ions, we examined its protective effect against radiation-induced toxicity. We found that treatment with Zn-DFO given before TBI increased the survival of mice irradiated with 7.5 and 8.5 Gy. Zn-DFO also protected against radiation-induced myelosuppression and body weight loss, while soluble Il6 levels in serum were normalized in mice pretreated with Zn-DFO. We concluded that administration of Zn-DFO prior to TBI protected BALB/c mice from radiation-induced toxicity, increasing survival rates by up to 75%. The biological effect of Zn-DFO is known to result from its effect on the production of intracellular hydroxyl free radicals mediated by redox-active metal ions, and both metal chelation and zinc delivery appear to be equally likely mechanisms for this outcome. We suggest that radiation-induced toxicity is caused by the deleterious effect of redox-active metal ions, and that compounds which modulate this redox activity may act as radioprotectors.

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