Simvastatin attenuates radiation-induced tissue damage in mice.

TitleSimvastatin attenuates radiation-induced tissue damage in mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhao X, Yang H, Jiang G, Ni M, Deng Y, Cai J, Li Z, Shen F, Tao X
JournalJournal of radiation research
Date Published2013 Oct 8

The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of simvastatin against radiation-induced tissue injury in mice. Mice were radiated with 4 Gy or 8 Gy after 20 mg/kg/d simvastatin treatment over 2 weeks. Morphological changes were observed in the jejunum and bone marrow, and apoptotic cells were determined in both tissues. Peripheral blood cells were counted, and the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in tissues of both thymus and spleen were measured. Compared with the radiation-only group, 20 mg/kg/d simvastatin administration significantly increased the mean villi height and decreased apoptotic cells in jejunum tissue, and stimulated regeneration and reduced apoptotic cells in bone marrow. Peripheral blood cell analysis revealed that simvastatin treatment induced a larger number of red blood cells and increased the hemoglobin level present after 4 Gy of radiation. Interestingly, it was also found that the number of peripheral endothelial progenitor cells was markedly increased following simvastatin administration. Antioxidant determination for tissues displayed that simvastatin therapy increased the SOD activity after both 4 and 8 Gy of radiation, but only decreased the MDA level after 4 Gy. Simvastatin ameliorated radiation-induced tissue damage in mice. The radioprotective effect of simvastatin was possibly related to inhibition of apoptosis and improvement of oxygen-carrying and antioxidant activities.

Alternate JournalJ. Radiat. Res.