The triterpenoid RTA 408 is a robust mitigator of hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome in mice

Radiat Res. 2015 Mar;183(3):338-44. doi: 10.1667/RR13900.1. Epub 2015 Mar 4.


Bone marrow suppression due to exposure to ionizing radiation is a significant clinical problem associated with radiation therapy as well as with nonmedical radiation exposure. Currently, there are no small molecule agents available that can enhance hematopoietic regeneration after radiation exposure. Here, we report on the effective mitigation of acute hematopoietic radiation syndrome in mice by the synthetic triterpenoid, RTA 408. The administration of a brief course of RTA 408 treatment, beginning 24 h after lethal doses of radiation to bone marrow, significantly increased overall survival. Importantly, treatment with RTA 408 led to the full recovery of steady state hematopoiesis with normalization of the frequency of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Moreover, hematopoietic stem cells from RTA 408-mitigated mice showed lineage-balanced, long-term, multilineage potential in serial transplantation assays, indicative of their normal self-renewal activity. The potency of RTA 408 in mitigating radiation-induced bone marrow suppression makes it an attractive candidate for potential clinical use in treating both therapy-related and unanticipated radiation exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Radiation Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acute Radiation Syndrome / pathology
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects*
  • Hematopoiesis / radiation effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / radiation effects
  • Mice
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Triterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Whole-Body Irradiation


  • Triterpenes
  • Omaveloxolone