New oral agents may prevent injury after radiation exposure

July 10, 2009

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and collaborators have discovered and analyzed several new compounds, collectively called the ''EUK-400 series,'' which could someday be used to prevent radiation-induced injuries to kidneys, lungs, skin, intestinal tract and brains of radiological terrorism victims. The findings, which appear in the June issue of the Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, describe new agents which can be given orally in pill form, which would more expedient in an emergency situation.

These agents are novel synthetic "antioxidants" that protect tissues against the kind of damage caused by agents such as "." Free radicals, and similar toxic byproducts formed in the body, are implicated in many different types of tissue injury, including those caused by . Often, this kind of injury occurs months to years after radiation exposure. The BUSM researchers and their colleagues are developing agents that prevent injury even when given after the radiation exposure.

This paper describes a newer class of compounds, the ''EUK-400 series,'' that are designed to be given as a pill. According to the researchers, experiments described in their paper prove that these agents are orally active. They also show that the new agents have several desirable "antioxidant" activities, and protect cells in a "" model.

These same BUSM researchers and collaborators had previously discovered novel synthetic antioxidants that effectively mitigate radiation injuries, but had to be given by injection. "We have developed some of these agents and have studied them for over 15 years beginning with our work at the local biotechnology company Eukarion," said senior author Susan Doctrow, PhD, a research associate professor of medicine at BUSM's Pulmonary Center. "These injectible antioxidants are very effective, but there has also been a desire to have agents that can be given orally. A pill would be more feasible than an injection to treat large numbers of people in an emergency scenario," she adds.

Future studies will focus on the EUK-400 compounds' effects in various experimental models for radiation injury. Data showing their benefits in models for radiation injury in blood vessel cells have been presented at two major scientific conferences and will be the topic of future publication. More broadly, beyond the potential for treating victims of radiological terrorism, these compounds could also be useful drugs against a variety of diseases where an effective antioxidant has potential benefits, for example, various neurological, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and autoimmune disorders. Previously, Doctrow's lab and others have published studies showing that the injectible versions of these compounds are beneficial in models for several such diseases.

Source: Boston University Medical Center

Explore further: Nanoparticle shows promise in reducing radiation side effects

Related Stories

Nanoparticle shows promise in reducing radiation side effects

November 8, 2006

With the help of tiny, transparent zebrafish embryos, researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Medical College are hoping to prove that a microscopic nanoparticle can be part of ...

Duke team finds compounds that prevent nerve damage

September 23, 2008

Duke University Medical Center scientists have made a significant finding that could lead to better drugs for several degenerative diseases including Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Compounds that block the ...

Plant antioxidant may protect against radiation exposure

September 23, 2008

Resveratrol, the natural antioxidant commonly found in red wine and many plants, may offer protection against radiation exposure, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. When altered with ...

Recommended for you

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

September 1, 2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the venom's ...

Naturally-occurring protein enables slower-melting ice cream

August 31, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have developed a slower-melting ice cream—consider the advantages the next time a hot summer day turns your child's cone with its dream-like mound of orange, vanilla and lemon swirls with chocolate ...

Antibody-making bacteria promise drug development

August 31, 2015

Monoclonal antibodies, proteins that bind to and destroy foreign invaders in our bodies, routinely are used as therapeutic agents to fight a wide range of maladies including breast cancer, leukemia, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, ...

A marine creature's magic trick explained

September 2, 2015

Tiny ocean creatures known as sea sapphires perform a sort of magic trick as they swim: One second they appear in splendid iridescent shades of blue, purple or green, and the next they may turn invisible (at least the blue ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nik_2213
not rated yet Jul 12, 2009
Attention Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Euronauts and Taikonauts-- Please form an orderly line...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.