Radiation exposure induces cross-species temporal metabolic changes that are mitigated in mice by amifostine

Alexandra Crook, Aline De Lima Leite, Thomas Payne, Fatema Bhinderwala, Jade Woods, Vijay K. Singh, Robert Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Exposure to acute, damaging radiation may occur through a variety of events from cancer therapy and industrial accidents to terrorist attacks and military actions. Our understanding of how to protect individuals and mitigate the effects of radiation injury or Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) is still limited. There are only a few Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies for ARS; whereas, amifostine is limited to treating low dose (0.7–6 Gy) radiation poisoning arising from cancer radiotherapy. An early intervention is critical to treat ARS, which necessitates identifying diagnostic biomarkers to quickly characterize radiation exposure. Towards this end, a multiplatform metabolomics study was performed to comprehensively characterize the temporal changes in metabolite levels from mice and non-human primate serum samples following γ-irradiation. The metabolomic signature of amifostine was also evaluated in mice as a model for radioprotection. The NMR and mass spectrometry metabolomics analysis identified 23 dysregulated pathways resulting from the radiation exposure. These metabolomic alterations exhibited distinct trajectories within glucose metabolism, phospholipid biosynthesis, and nucleotide metabolism. A return to baseline levels with amifostine treatment occurred for these pathways within a week of radiation exposure. Together, our data suggests a unique physiological change that is independent of radiation dose or species. Furthermore, a metabolic signature of radioprotection was observed through the use of amifostine prophylaxis of ARS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14004
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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