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Chem Biodivers. 2013 Oct;10(10):1791-803. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201300054.

Radioprotectors - the evergreen topic.

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University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Vojvode Stepe 450, P.O. Box 146, 11221 Belgrade, Serbia (phone: +381-11-39-51-238; fax: +381-11-39-72-840).


To protect organisms from ionizing radiation (IR), and to reduce morbidity or mortality, various agents, called radioprotectors, have been utilized. Because radiation-induced cellular damage is attributed primarily to the harmful effects of free radicals, molecules with radical-scavenging properties are particularly promising as radioprotectors. Early development of such agents focused on thiol synthetic compounds, known as WR protectors, but only amifostine (WR-2721) has been used in clinical trials as an officially approved radioprotector. Besides thiol compounds, various compounds with different chemical structure were investigated, but an ideal radioprotector has not been found yet. Plants and natural products have been evaluated as promising sources of radioprotectors because of their low toxicity, although they exhibit an inferior protection level compared to synthetic thiol compounds. Active plant constituents seem to exert the radioprotection through antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities. Our research established that plants containing polyphenolic compounds (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, grape, etc.) exhibit antioxidative activities and protect genetic material from IR.


Antioxidant activity; Ionizing radiation; Polyphenols; Radical-scavenging activity; Radioprotectors

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