Purpose: Ionizing radiation (IR) generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are responsible for cytogenetic alterations. Because antioxidants are potent ROS scavengers, we determined whether the vitamin E isoform γ-tocotrienol (GT3), a radio-protective multifunctional dietary antioxidant, can suppress IR-induced cytogenetic damage.
Methods: We measured DSB formation in irradiated primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by quantifying the formation of γ-H2AX foci. Chromosomal aberrations (CAs) were analyzed in irradiated HUVECs and in the bone marrow cells of irradiated mice by conventional and fluorescence-based chromosome painting techniques. Gene expression was measured in HUVECs with quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Results: GT3 pretreatment reduced DSB formation in HUVECS, and also decreased CAs in HUVECs and mouse bone marrow cells after irradiation. Moreover, GT3 increased expression of the DNA-repair gene RAD50 and attenuated radiation-induced RAD50 suppression.
Conclusions: GT3 attenuates radiation-induced cytogenetic damage, possibly by affecting RAD50 expression. GT3 should be explored as a therapeutic to reduce the risk of developing genetic diseases after radiation exposure.
Keywords: DNA repair; chromosomal aberrations; endothelial cells; gamma-tocotrienol; ionizing radiation.