Radioprotection by injectable vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) was investigated in mice exposed to 60Co radiation (0.2 Gy/min). Vitamin E injected subcutaneously either 1 hr before or within 15 min after irradiation significantly increased 30-day postirradiation survival in CD2F1 male mice. A dose reduction factor (DRF) of 1.11 (95% confidence interval [1.08, 1.14]) was observed for vitamin E at a dose of 100 IU/kg body weight administered within 15 min after irradiation. Combination studies with the phosphorothioate WR-3689 (S-2([3-methylaminopropyl]amino)ethylphosphorothioic acid) were undertaken to determine whether radioprotection by WR-3689 could be enhanced by vitamin E. Mice were given WR-3689 (150-225 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 30 min before irradiation and were given vitamin E (100 IU/kg) either 1 hr before or within 15 min after irradiation. Survival was significantly increased in mice given vitamin E and WR-3689 before irradiation as compared to mice given WR-3689 alone: the DRF for WR-3689 (150 mg) was 1.35 [1.32, 1.38]; for WR-3689 combined with vitamin E (100 IU), the DRF was 1.49 [1.45, 1.53].