Objective: Pioglitazone (PG) is used to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes
mellitus. PG acts as a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonist. In addition to the
insulin-sensitizing effect, PG possesses anti-inflammatory effect. In this study, the protective effect of
PG was evaluated against DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation in healthy human lymphocytes.
Methods: The microtubes containing human whole blood were treated with PG at various concentrations
(1-50 μM) for three hours. Then, the blood samples were irradiated with X-ray. Lymphocytes
were cultured for determining the frequency of micronuclei as a genotoxicity biomarker in binucleated
Results: The mean percentage of micronuclei was significantly increased in human lymphocytes
when exposed to IR, while it was decreased in lymphocytes pre-treated with PG. The maximum
reduction in the frequency of micronuclei in irradiated lymphocytes was observed at 5 μM of PG
treatment (48% decrease).
Conclusion: The anti-inflammatory property suggested the mechanism action of PG for protecting
human lymphocytes against genotoxicity induced by ionizing radiation.