Edaravone, a clinical drug used widely for the treatment of acute cerebral infarction, is reported to scavenge free radicals. In the present study, we investigated the radioprotective effect of edaravone on X-ray-induced apoptosis in MOLT-4 cells. Apoptosis was determined by the dye exclusion test, Annexin V binding assay, cleavage of caspase, and DNA fragmentation. We found that edaravone significantly suppressed the X-ray-induced apoptosis. The amount of intracellular ROS production was determined by the chloromethyl-2′, 7′-dichlorodihydro-fluorescein diacetate system. We found that the intracellular ROS production by X-irradiation was completely suppressed by the addition of edaravone. The accumulation and phosphorylation of p53 and the expression of p21WAF1, a target protein of p53, which were induced by X-irradiation, were also suppressed by adding edaravone. We conclude that the free radical scavenger edaravone suppresses X-ray-induced apoptosis in MOLT-4 cells by inhibiting p53.
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