Histopathological Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Glycyrrhizic Acid as a Radioprotector Against the Development of Radiation-Induced Lung Fibrosis

Iran J Radiol. 2016 Mar 21;13(2):e21012. doi: 10.5812/iranjradiol.21012. eCollection 2016 Apr.


Background: Radiotherapy of the thorax often causes lung inflammation leading to fibrosis.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of glycyrrhizic acid (GLA) could improve the development of lung fibrosis in irradiated animals.

Materials and methods: Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Group A rats received thoracic irradiation. Rats in group B received GLA and irradiation. Group C received GLA and no irradiation. Group D received no GLA and irradiation. GLA was administered at a dose of 4 mg/kg body weight using an intraperitoneal injection one hour before thoracic irradiation. Radiation therapy was delivered on a Cobalt-60 unit using a single fraction of 16 Gy. The animals were sacrificed at 32 weeks following thoracic irradiation. The lungs were dissected and blind histopathological evaluation was performed.

Results: Histopathologically, a decrease (statistically not significant) in the thickening of alveolar or bronchial wall, formation of fibrous bands, and superimposed collagen were noted in the animals in group B as compared to the animals in group A.

Conclusion: In this experimental study, administration of GLA one hour before thoracic irradiation may be a protective agent against radiation-induced fibrosis in animals and this model could be used in future studies.

Keywords: Glycyrrhizic Acid; Histopathology; Lung fibrosis; Radioprotector.