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Plant Antioxidant May Protect Against Radiation Exposure

Date:
September 24, 2008
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Resveratrol, the natural antioxidant commonly found in red wine and many plants, may offer protection against radiation exposure, according to a new study. When altered with acetyl, resveratrol administered before radiation exposure proved to protect cells from radiation in mouse models.
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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 acetyl, resveratrol administered before radiation exposure proved to protect cells from radiation in mouse models.

The study, led by Joel Greenberger, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is overseen by Pitt's Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation. The center is dedicated to identifying and developing small molecule radiation protectors and mitigators that easily can be accessed and administered in the event of a large-scale radiological or nuclear emergency.

"New, small molecules with radioprotective capacity will be required for treatment in case of radiation spills or even as countermeasures against radiological terrorism," said Dr. Greenberger. "Small molecules which can be easily stored, transported and administered are optimal for this, and so far acetylated resveratrol fits these requirements well."

"Currently there are no drugs on the market that protect against or counteract radiation exposure," he added. "Our goal is to develop treatments for the general population that are effective and non-toxic."

Dr. Greenberger and his team are conducting further studies to determine whether acetylated resveratrol eventually can be translated into clinical use as a radioprotective agent. In 2004, this same team of researchers identified the drug JP4-039, which can be delivered directly to the mitochondria, the energy producing areas of cells. When this occurs, the drug assists the mitochondria in combating radiation-induced cell death.

The results of the research were presented during the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's (ASTRO) 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.

The abstract, "Acetylated resveratrol: A new small molecule radioprotector,"was presented at a poster discussion session on  Sept. 23.

The study was funded by a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to establish the Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation at the University of Pittsburgh.


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The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Plant Antioxidant May Protect Against Radiation Exposure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923181110.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2008, September 24). Plant Antioxidant May Protect Against Radiation Exposure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923181110.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Plant Antioxidant May Protect Against Radiation Exposure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923181110.htm (accessed May 26, 2015).

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