Background: Ionizing radiation induces DNA damage on normal cell results in apoptosis and
Objectives: The radioprotective effects of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNPs) on genotoxicity, apoptosis
and necrosis induced by Ionizing Radiation (IR) in human healthy lymphocytes as highly radiosensitive
cells were investigated.
Materials and Methods: Lymphocytes were prepared from three volunteers and then treated with CNPs
at different concentrations and exposed to IR at dose 1.5 Gy. The radioprotective effects of CNPs were
assessed by micronucleus (MN) assay and flow cytometry. Interleukin-1 was quantified in treated samples.
Results: It was found that CNPs reduced the percentage of MN induced by IR in lymphocytes up to
73%. CNPs treatment significantly reduced IR-induced apoptotic and necrotic incidences in human
lymphocytes. CNPs significantly reduced IL-1β produced in cell environment exposed to IR. The present
study demonstrated that CNPs may be an effective radioprotector against DNA damage and apoptosis
induced by IR mainly through mitigation of pro-inflammatory process in lymphocytes.
Conclusion: This result provides a new potential indication of CNPs for protection of normal cells during
radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer or unwanted radiation exposure.