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The aim of the present study was to compare the protective effects ofl-carnitine and amifostine against radiation-induced late nephrotoxicity using technetium-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid scintigraphy and histopathological examination.

Seventy-one Albino rats were randomly divided into six groups as follows: (i) AMI + RAD (n = 15), 200 mg/kg, i.p., amifostine 30 min prior to irradiation (a single dose of 9 Gy); (ii) LC + RAD (n = 15), 300 mg/kg, i.p.,l-carnitine 30 min prior to irradiation; (iii) LC (n = 10), 300 mg/kg, i.p.,l-carnitine 30 min prior to sham irradiation; (iv) AMI (n = 10), 200 mg/kg, i.p., amifostine 30 min prior to sham irradiation; RAD (n = 11), 1 mL/kg, i.p., normal saline 30 min prior to irradiation; and (vi) control (n = 10), 1 mL/kg, i.p., normal saline 30 min prior to sham irradiation. Scintigraphy was performed before treatment and again 6 months after treatment. Kidneys were examined by light microscopy and a histopathological scoring system was used to assess the degree of renal damage.

The main histopathological findings were proximal tubular damage and interstitial fibrosis. Glomerular injury was similar in all groups. Tubular degeneration and atrophy were less common in the AMI + RAD group than in the RAD group (P = 0.011 and P = 0.015, respectively), as well as in the LC + RAD group compared with the RAD group (P = 0.028 and P = 0.036, respectively). Interstitial fibrosis in the AMI + RAD and LC + RAD groups was significantly less than that in the RAD group (P = 0.015 and P = 0.015, respectively). The highest total renal injury score (9) was seen in the RAD group. On scintigraphy, there were significant differences in post-treatment time to peak count (Tmax) and time from peak count to half count (T½) values (P = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively) between groups in the right kidney. In the control and RAD groups, the T½ of the right kidney was 8 ± 2 and 21 ± 2 min, respectively. The Tmax values for the AMI + RAD and LC + RAD groups (2.8 ± 0.2 and 3.2 ± 0.2 min, respectively) were similar to those in the control group (2.5 ± 0.3 min).

Based on the results of the present study,l-carnitine and amifostine have comparable and significant protective effects against radiation-induced late nephrotoxicity.
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Keywords: amifostine; histopathology; kidney; l-carnitine; nephrotoxicity; radiation; radioprotection; rat; scintigraphy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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