Evaluation of radioprotective effects of compounds

Developed by: Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe


The interaction of ionizing radiation with living cells causes damage to genetic material. Radiation induced damage is required for certain applications of ionizing radiation such as radiotherapy but when ionizing radiation interacts with healthy cells, the radiation-induced effects are not then desired since they have health consequences in exposed humans.

In order to avoid or mitigate the secondary and undesired effects of ionizing radiation one of the research teams from La Fe Health Research Institute has optimized an assay for the assessment of the radioprotective effect of a compound or a mixture by the analysis of the reduction of radiation-induced chromosomal damage. This assay would be the first step to initiate biomedical studies and to determine whether a molecule/compound or a mixture thereof is radioprotective.

The assay is based on the irradiation of human peripheral blood samples containing different concentrations of the substance/s of interest and the subsequent cytogenetic analysis. From this analysis, the reduction of radiation-induced chromosomal damage in lymphocytes due to the protection offered by the substance/s of study is determined.

Irradiation of samples is performed according to the protocol established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the biomarker analyzed is the dicentric chromosomes. Selection of this biomarker from the set of those accepted by the IAEA is due to the fact that dicentric chromosomes are specifically induced by radiation and are the “gold-standard” biomarker for biological dosimetry purposes. In biological dosimetry studies, an estimation of the absorbed dose of ionizing radiation is carried out from a dose-effect curve build up with different biomarkers (dicentric chromosomes, micronuclei, translocations, etc). The research team from the IISLaFe counts with a dose-effect curve performed with the analysis of dicentric chromosomes.

Furthermore, the team is able to perform in vivo studies with animals to assess the effectiveness of radioprotective substances and/or compounds meant for its topical use.


Oral and/or topic radioprotective agents design able to protect from ionizing radiation.




Área de Innovación del Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe

Avenida Fernando Abril Martorell, 106 - Torre A, Planta 7ª

46026 Valencia

Telefono: 961 246 717

Persona de contacto: Elena Carrió
email: elena_carrio@iislafe.es