Background: Radiotherapy of thoracic neoplasms and accidental radiation exposure often results in pneumonitis and fibrosis of lungs. Here, we investigated the potential of amifostine analogs: DRDE-07, DRDE-30, and DRDE-35, in alleviating radiation-induced lung damage. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 13.5 Gy thoracic irradiation, 30 min after intraperitoneal administration of the analogs, and assessed for modulation of the pathological response at 12 and 24 weeks. Key findings: DRDE-07, DRDE-30 and DRDE-35 increased the survival of irradiated mice from 20% to 30%, 80% and 70% respectively. Reduced parenchymal opacity (X-ray CT) in the lungs of DRDE-30 pre-treated mice corroborated well with the significant decrease in Ashcroft score (p < 0.01). Two-fold increase in SOD and catalase activities (p < 0.05), coupled with a 50% increase in GSH content and a 60% decrease in MDA content (p < 0.05) suggested restoration of the antioxidant defence system. A 20% to 40% decrease in radiation-induced apoptotic and mitotic death in the lung tissue (micronuclei: p < 0.01), resulted in attenuated lung and vascular permeability (FITC-Dextran leakage) by 50% (p < 0.01), and a commensurate reduction (~50%) in leukocyte infiltration in the injured tissue (p < 0.05). DRDE-30 abrogated the activation of pro-inflammatory NF-κB and p38/MAPK signaling cascades, suppressing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β: p < 0.05; TNF-α: p < 0.05; IL-6: p < 0.05) and up-regulation of CAMs on the endothelial cell surface. Reduction in hydroxyproline content (p < 0.01) and collagen suggested inhibition of lung fibrosis which was associated with attenuation of TGF-β/Smad pathway-mediated-EMT. Conclusion: DRDE-30 could be a potential prophylactic agent against radiation-induced lung injury.
- Lung injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)