Ronald King

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Thomas Coohill, Hugh Puckett, Joella Utley

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Studies reporting a high concentration of WR-2721 in mouse salivary glands led to our studies of possible radioprotection of these glands by this drug from ionizing radiation. Oral effects of radiation in the presence of WR-2721 were studied in mice and dogs. Histological evaluation of mouse salivary glands irradiated with 1000 rads of 60Co showed essentially no difference between control and experimental animals. Almost full regeneration of the serous salivary components occurred by 6 months in both groups and neither group had changes in the mucous glands. The use of higher doses of radiation in the mouse was prevented by the oral cavity death syndrome (LD50/8-10) which was reduced by a factor of 2.1 when WR-2721 was given 30 minutes before irradiation of the head. Salivary function in mongrel dogs measured at weekly intervals for one month following radiation showed no significant difference in control and experimental animals; therefore the salivary gland may be an organ capable of metabolizing or excreting of WR-2721. Marked protection from acute radiation damage of the skin and oral mucosa was observed in dogs receiving WR-2721 prior to treatment with radiation. A dose modifying factor of 1.67 was obtained for these structures. If such normal tissue sparing could be achieved clinically, higher doses of radiation could be used in treatment of head and neck malignancies, thereby increasing the probability for successful radiation therapy for such tumors.


Biology | Chemical Actions and Uses | Chemicals and Drugs | Diseases | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Animal Sciences