LIFE SCIENCES, vol.78, no.4, pp.376-382, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Radiation enteritis is a significant clinical problem in patients receiving ionizing radiation directed to the abdomen or pelvis. Although radiation is aimed to be directed against the malignant tissue, adjacent healthy tissues are also affected. The small intestine is the most sensitive organ to radiation. The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible protective effect of glutamine against radiation-induced intestinal, hepatic and pancreatic toxicity. Rats received 1 g/kg/day glutamine for seven days before irradiation and continued for three days after irradiation until sacrification. Then intestinal, pancreatic and hepatic myeloperoxidase (MPO) activities, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and caspase-3 activities of the sacrified rats were measured. Irradiation significantly increased the intestinal and pancreatic MPO and caspase-3 activities and MDA levels in comparison to sham group. Glutamine treatment significantly decreased this elevation. Histopathological examination revealed that the intestinal mucosal structure was preserved and pancreatic inflammation decreased in the glutamine treated group. In irradiation group, NF-kappa B over expression was detected. There was no significant difference in histopathological and biochemical examinations of the liver between the groups. In conclusion, glutamine has beneficial effects on intestinal and pancreatic damage in abdominal irradiation through the inflammatory process and apoptosis. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.