Modifying effect of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene against gamma-ray-induced DNA damage in mouse cells

Mutat Res. 1998 Sep 11;417(2-3):85-94. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(98)00095-3.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Gamma Rays / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / therapy
  • Urinary Bladder / drug effects
  • Urinary Bladder / radiation effects
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*
  • beta Carotene / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid