The modifying effect of treatment with vitamins C, E and beta-carotene on the clastogenic activity of gamma rays was investigated in mice. Damage in vivo was measured by the micronucleus assay in bone marrow polychromatic erythrocytes and exfoliated bladder cells. The vitamins were administered orally, either for five consecutive days before or immediately after irradiation with 2 Gy of gamma rays. The results show that pretreatment with vitamin E (100-200 mg/kg/day) and beta-carotene (3-12 mg/kg/day) were effective in protecting against micronucleus induction by gamma rays. Vitamin C depending on its concentration enhanced the radiation effect (400 mg/kg/day), or reduced the number of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (50-100 mg/kg/day). Such effect was weekly observed in exfoliated bladder cells. The most effective protection in both tissues was noted when a mixture of these vitamins was used as a pretreatment. Administration of the all antioxidant vitamins to mice immediately after irradiation was also effective in reducing the radiation-induced micronucleus frequency. The data from the in vitro experiments based on the comet assay show that the presence of the vitamins in culture medium influences the kinetic of repair of radiation-induced DNA damage in mouse leukocytes.
Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.