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You are here:  HOME  >  What's New  >  Russian scientists take different path in search for radioprotectors
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Russian scientists take
different path in search
for radioprotectors

Russian scientists take different path in search for radioprotectors

 
In the quest for a "pill" that will protect humans from the effects of exposure to radiation without severely incapacitating them, scientists at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in Gatchina, Leningrad District, Russia, are investigating a combination of toxic and nontoxic agents known as thiols.

At AFRRI, researchers studying radioprotection have found aminothiols and their derivatives to be some of the most effective radioprotectors. Aminothiols protect by acting on the stem cells of the hematopoietic system and on the cells of the intestinal epithelium. However, they also act on the cells of the central nervous system, causing nausea, vomiting, hypotension, weakness, and fatigue. These side effects severely limit their usefulness, particularly in military operations, according to Dr. Glen I. Reeves, who oversees contracts for international collaborations with states of the former Soviet Union.

The findings of the Russian scientists are reported in the recently released AFRRI publication Chemical Protection Against X-Ray, Gamma, and Neutron Radiation. The authors, S.A. Grachev and A.G. Sverdlov, describe their use of nontoxic unithiols to block the aminothiols' access to nerve cells, thus mitigating the toxic effects of the aminothiols. The studies were carried out in mice, isolated cultured fibroblasts of Chinese hamsters, and neurons in slices of rat hippocampi. (See abstract.)

According to the preface by Dr. Reeves, the report presents "a thought-provoking step toward the development of an effective yet nontoxic means of radiation protection and may stimulate further research along these or perhaps slightly different lines." A limited number of copies of the report are available directly from AFRRI, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603, USA. Telephone: 011-301-295-9228.

This and other AFRRI publications are available to qualified users from the Defense Technical Information Center, Attention: OCP, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 0944, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6218; telephone: (703) 487-4650. AFRRI publications are also available from university libraries and other libraries associated with the U.S. Government's Depository Library System.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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