Several new compounds, collectively called the "EUK-400 series", discovered by scientists, may be taken orally to prevent radiation-induced injuries to the kidneys, lungs, skin, intestinal tract, and brains of radiological terrorism victims.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) say that the new agents can be given orally in pill form, and that they can be more useful in an emergency situation.
They have revealed that these agents are novel synthetic "antioxidants" that protect tissues against the kind of damage caused by agents, such as "free radicals".
Free radicals, as well as similar toxic by-products formed in the body, are implicated in many different types of tissue injury, including those caused by radiation exposure, which can occur months to years after radiation exposure.
According to the researchers, experiments have shown that these agents are orally active, have several desirable "antioxidant" activities, and protect cells in a "cell death" model.
The same team had previously discovered novel synthetic antioxidants that effectively mitigate radiation injuries, but had to be given by injection.
Future studies will focus on the EUK-400 compounds' effects in various experimental models for radiation injury.
The researchers have claimed that beyond the potential for treating victims of radiological terrorism, these compounds could also be useful drugs against a variety of diseases where an effective antioxidant has potential benefits, for example, various neurological, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and autoimmune disorders.
The study has been published in the Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.