Background: In spite of the immense therapeutic gains produced by the fractionated irradiation (IR) regimen, radiation burden on the skin increases significantly. Protection of skin might enable use of higher radiation doses for better therapeutic gains. Ascorbic acid (AA), an essential ingredient of the human diet, is known to be a free radical scavenger and radioprotective agent. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of ascorbic acid on the radiation-induced changes in the status of glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lipid peroxidation (LPx) in the skin of mice exposed to 10, 16 and 20 Gy of fractionated γ radiation. Methods: One group of the animals was administered daily with double distilled water (DDW), while the other group received 250 mg/kg b. wt. of ascorbic acid once daily, consecutively for 5, 8 or 10 days, before hemibody (below rib cage) exposure to 2 Gy/day of γ-rays. Skin biopsies from both the groups were collected for the biochemical estimations. Results: The irradiation of animals resulted in a dose-dependent decline in the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione contents. Ascorbic acid pretreatment resulted in a significant increase in the activities of both the enzymes and glutathione in the irradiated mouse skin. Normal concentrations of glutathione could not be restored even by day 6 post-irradiation. Conversely, lipid peroxidation increased in a dose-dependent manner in both the groups reaching a peak concentration by 3 h post-irradiation, while the ascorbic acid pretreatment inhibited the radiation-induced increase in lipid peroxidation. Conclusions: The ascorbic acid treatment arrested the decline in the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, glutathione contents and inhibited the radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in the skin of mice exposed to different doses of fractionated γ radiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical