Mitigating effect of biotin against irradiation-induced cerebral cortical and hippocampal damage in the rat brain tissue

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 May;26(13):13441-13452. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-04806-x. Epub 2019 Mar 25.


Radiation-induced brain injury is common and mainly occurs in patients receiving radiotherapy for malignant head and neck tumors. The brain is oversensitive to oxidant injury induced by radiation. Biotin is a member of the vitamin B complex family and its deficiency has been associated with neurogenesis impairment in animals and humans. The present study was undertaken to investigate the mitigating effect of biotin on the cerebral cortical and hippocampal damage induced by radiation exposure. Animals were exposed to radiation in the presence or absence of biotin and sacrificed on day 10. The results demonstrated that the administration of biotin 2 mg to irradiated rats had no significant effect on the radiation-induced damage of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, while the administration of biotin 6 mg has significantly attenuated oxidative stress in the hippocampus, manifested by a reduction of 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE), total nitrate/nitrite (NOx), and xanthine oxidase (XO) levels associated with an elevation of glutathione (GSH) content as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities. In addition, biotin decreased the pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrotic factor alpha (TNF-α)), caspase-3, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) level, and PARP1 gene expression. Moreover, biotin 6 mg treatment diminished serum S100 protein (S100B) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) levels. In conclusion, biotin treatment at high dose post-irradiation has efficiently neutralized the effect of free radicals in the hippocampal region of rats. Thus, it could be applicable as a radio-mitigator for reducing or delayed radiation-induced brain injury in patients post-radiotherapy.

Keywords: Biotin; Brain; Oxidative stress; Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1); Radiation; Rat.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / chemistry*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3 / chemistry
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Interleukin-6 / chemistry
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • TNF protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Biotin
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Glutathione