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J Radiol Prot. 1999 Jun;19(2):171-6.

Caffeine protects mice against whole-body lethal dose of gamma-irradiation.

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  • 1Biosciences Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, India.

Abstract

Administration of caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine), a major component of coffee, to Swiss mice at doses of 80 or 100 mg/kg body weight 60 min prior to whole-body lethal dose of gamma-irradiation (7.5 Gy) resulted in the survival of 70 and 63% of animals, respectively, at the above doses in contrast to absolutely no survivors (LD-100/25 days) in the group exposed to radiation alone. Pre-treatment with a lower concentration of caffeine (50 mg/kg) did not confer any radioprotection. The protection exerted by caffeine (80 mg/kg), however, was reduced from 70 to 50% if administered 30 min prior to irradiation. The trend statistics reveal that a dose of 80 mg/kg administered 60 min before whole-body exposure to 7.5 Gy is optimal for maximal radioprotection. However, caffeine (80 mg/kg) administered within 3 min after irradiation offered no protection. While there is documentation in the literature that caffeine is an antioxidant and radioprotector against the oxic pathway of radiation damage in a wide range of cells and organisms, this is the first report demonstrating unequivocally its potent radioprotective action in terms of survival of lethally whole-body irradiated mice.

PMID:
10400154
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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