We have recently found that treatment of Chinese hamster V79 cells with the stable nitroxide radical TEMPOL (4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl) afforded significant protection against superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and X-ray mediated cytotoxicity. Radiation-induced alopecia is a common radiotherapeutic problem. Topical application of TEMPOL was evaluated for possible protective effects against radiation-induced alopecia using guinea pig skin as a model. For single acute X-ray doses up to 30 Gy, TEMPOL, when topically applied 15 min prior to irradiation provided a marked increase in the rate and extent of new hair recovery when compared to untreated skin. TEMPOL was detected in treated skin specimens with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Similar measurements of blood samples failed to show any signal resulting from topical application, nor could TEMPOL be detected in brain tissue after application on the scalp. TEMPOL represents a new class of compounds with potential for selective cutaneous radioprotection without systemic absorption.
Goffman T, Cuscela D, Glass J, Hahn S, Krishna CM, Lupton G, Mitchell JB
Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 22: 4, 1992, 803-6