Gamma-tocotrienol, a tocol antioxidant as a potent radioprotector

Sanchita P. Ghosh, Shilpa Kulkarni, Kevin Hieber, Raymond Toles, Lyudmila Romanyukha, Tzu Cheg Kao, Martin Hauer-Jensen, K. Sree Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the radioprotective potential of gamma-tocotrienol. Materials and methods: To optimise its dose and time regimen, gamma-tocotrienol (GT3) was injected subcutaneously (SC) at different doses into male CD2F1 mice [LD50/30 (lethal radiation dose that results in the mortality of 50% mice in 30 days) radiation dose of 8.6 Gy with vehicle]. The mice were given 10.5, 11 and 11.5 Gy cobalt-60 radiation, and 30-day survival-protection was determined. Time optimisation was done by SC administration of GT3 at different intervals before irradiation. Dose reduction factor (DRF) was determined by probit analysis using mortality as the end point at six radiation doses. Protection from radiation induced pancytopenia was determined by enumerating peripheral blood cells from mice given GT3 and irradiated at 7 Gy. Results: At an optimal dose of 200 mg/kg given SC 24h before irradiation, GT3 had a DRF of 1.29. GT3 accelerated the recovery of total white blood cells, neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, and reticulocytes in irradiated mice, compared to vehicle-injected, irradiated controls. Conclusion: GT3 is a radioprotectant having a higher DRF than any other tocols. The protection it provides close to the gastro-intestinal range indicate that GT3 can be considered as an ideal radioprotectant meriting further drug development stages for the ultimate use in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-606
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-oxidant
  • Gamma tocotrienol
  • Ionising radiation
  • Mice
  • Radioprotectant


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