The radioprotective effects of dimethyl sulfoxide against damage caused by ionizing radiation have been studied in Drosophila melanogaster. Pretreatments with a 10% solution (v/v) in 0.4% NaCl, injected intraabdominally were done at different intervals prior to irradiation. In all the experiments the response to dimethyl sulfoxide was more marked when the interval between administration and irradiation was shorter. The results obtained showed (1) an increase in the survival of adult males and females treated 2 h or 20 h before irradiation with 64,000 R of gamma radiation; (2) a decrease in the frequency of sex-linked recessive lethal mutations induced by 1000 R of X-rays in sperm of males injected 30 min or 20 h before irradiation; (3) a decrease in the frequency of II-III translocations induced by 1000 R of X-rays in sperm of males injected 30 min before irradiation. It is concluded that dimethyl sulfoxide can provide radioprotection to D. melanogaster both at the whole body and genetic levels.

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