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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 663; doi:10.3390/ijms17050663

γ-Tocotrienol as a Promising Countermeasure for Acute Radiation Syndrome: Current Status

1
Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Therapeutics, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20889, USA
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Systems, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Laura Colombo
Received: 22 February 2016 / Revised: 3 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 3 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tocopherols and Tocotrienols: Metabolism and Properties)
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Abstract

The hazard of ionizing radiation exposure due to nuclear accidents or terrorist attacks is ever increasing. Despite decades of research, still, there is a shortage of non-toxic, safe and effective medical countermeasures for radiological and nuclear emergency. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) has approved only two growth factors, Neupogen (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), filgrastim) and Neulasta (PEGylated G-CSF, pegfilgrastim) for the treatment of hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome (H-ARS) following the Animal Efficacy Rule. Promising radioprotective efficacy results of γ-tocotrienol (GT3; a member of the vitamin E family) in the mouse model encouraged its further evaluation in the nonhuman primate (NHP) model. These studies demonstrated that GT3 significantly aided the recovery of radiation-induced neutropenia and thrombocytopenia compared to the vehicle controls; these results particularly significant after exposure to 5.8 or 6.5 Gray (Gy) whole body γ-irradiation. The stimulatory effect of GT3 on neutrophils and thrombocytes (platelets) was directly and positively correlated with dose; a 75 mg/kg dose was more effective compared to 37.5 mg/kg. GT3 was also effective against 6.5 Gy whole body γ-irradiation for improving neutrophils and thrombocytes. Moreover, a single administration of GT3 without any supportive care was equivalent, in terms of improving hematopoietic recovery, to multiple doses of Neupogen and two doses of Neulasta with full supportive care (including blood products) in the NHP model. GT3 may serve as an ultimate radioprotector for use in humans, particularly for military personnel and first responders. In brief, GT3 is a promising radiation countermeasure that ought to be further developed for U.S. FDA approval for the ARS indication. View Full-Text
Keywords: γ-tocotrienol; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; mice; neutropenia; nonhuman primates; radiation; thrombocytopenia γ-tocotrienol; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; mice; neutropenia; nonhuman primates; radiation; thrombocytopenia
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Singh, V.K.; Hauer-Jensen, M. γ-Tocotrienol as a Promising Countermeasure for Acute Radiation Syndrome: Current Status. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 663.

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