Vitamins as radioprotectors in vivo. II. Protection by vitamin A and soybean oil against radiation damage caused by internal radionuclides

Radiat Res. 1994 Jul;139(1):115-22.


Tissue-incorporated radionuclides impart radiation energy over extended periods of time depending on their effective half-lives. The capacity of vitamin A dissolved in soybean oil to protect against the biological effects caused by internal radionuclides is investigated. The radiochemicals examined are DNA-binding 125IdU, cytoplasmically localized H125IPDM and the alpha-particle emitter 210Po citrate. As in our previous studies, spermatogenesis in mice is used as the experimental model and spermatogonial cell survival is the biological end point. Surprisingly, soybean oil itself provides substantial and equal protection against the Auger effect of 125IdU, which is comparable to a high-LET radiation effect, as well as the low-LET effects of H125IPDM, the dose modification factors (DMFs) being 3.6 +/- 0.9 (SEM) and 3.4 +/- 0.9, respectively. The protection afforded by the oil against the effects of 5.3 MeV alpha particles emitted by 210Po is also significant (DMF = 2.2 +/- 0.4). The presence of vitamin A in the oil further enhanced the radioprotection against the effect of 125IdU (DMF = 4.8 +/- 1.3) and H125IPDM (DMF = 5.1 +/- 0.6); however, no enhancement is provided against the effects of alpha particles. These interesting results with soybean oil and vitamin A, together with data on the subcellular distribution of the protectors, provide clues regarding the mechanistic aspects of the protection. In addition, the data for vitamin A reaffirm our earlier conclusion that the mechanism by which DNA-bound Auger emitters impart biological damage is primarily indirect in nature.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Palmitic Acids / metabolism
  • Polonium / toxicity*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / toxicity
  • Soybean Oil / pharmacology*
  • Spermatogonia / cytology
  • Spermatogonia / drug effects
  • Spermatogonia / radiation effects*
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / radiation effects*
  • Tritium
  • Vitamin A / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamin A / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin A / toxicity


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Palmitic Acids
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Tritium
  • Vitamin A
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Soybean Oil
  • Polonium