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

New handbook guides
medical decisions in a
radiological emergency

Dept. of Homeland Security
medical experts visit AFRRI

Ceremony welcomes
new AFRRI director

Unprecedented growth marks
AFRRI director's tenure

NRC Commissioner
tours AFRRI

Special assignment:
The Vancouver Olympics

American Nuclear Society
unveils historic-landmark plaque

Historic landmark plaque
to be installed at defense lab

AFRRI receives historic
award from American
Nuclear Society

Iraq researchers
tour AFRRI

AFRRI awarded nuclear
historic landmark status

AFRRI leaders, other research
reactor experts convene
at annual conference

Research pioneer
touched lives, influenced
future of radiation science

Former AFRRI
scientific director was
pioneer in radiation research

Researchers share latest
radiation-effects findings
with military medical community

AFRRI scientific director
elected to NCRP

Scientists deliberate
on diagnostics for
partial-body irradiation

New software to aid
treatment decisions during
radiation exposure incidents

International experts on
radiation exposure assessment
to convene at AFRRI

Ceremony marks change
of director at AFRRI

FDA clears 5-AED for
human clinical studies

New collaboration
will develop radiation

Training for the unthinkable

AFRRI employees participate
in MASCAL drill

EPA awards AFRRI scientists
with highest honor

DoD commends AFRRI
for response to terrorism

Ceremony welcomes
new AFRRI director

Revised handbook expands
casualty management

Peer review validates
AFRRI research of
measuring radioprotection
by liquid chromatography

MEIR course available
on handy card-size disc

AFRRI launches software
for radiation casualty

Chernobyl liquidators'
teeth may link radiation
dose and disease

Individual exposure
takes heat in
radiation study

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.