Radioprotective effect of lycopene on the gastrointestinal tract after high-dose radioiodine administration in rat models

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of lycopene against radioactive iodine (RAI)-related gastrointestinal tract acute damage in a rat model as a novel radioprotective agent.

Materials and methods

Twenty Wistar albino rats were divided into two equal groups: group 1 was administered only RAI and group 2 was administered RAI and lycopene. All rats were killed 24 h after the last administration of the agents and the gastrointestinal tract organs were removed surgically for histopathological examination.


The presence of lamina propria edema in the duodenum (P=0.003) and ileum (P=0.02), ulcer in the duodenum (P=0.033), mucosal erosion in the stomach (P=0.001), mucosal degeneration in stomach (P=0.02) and colon (P=0.02), necrosis in all tissues (P value for stomach=0.005, duodenum=0.001, ileum=0.001, colon=0.001), inflammation in those tissues (P value for; stomach=0.003, duodenum=0.02, ileum=0.011, colon=0.033), and fibrosis in those tissues (P value for; stomach=0.02, duodenum=0.003, ileum=0.003, colon=0.001) were statistically less frequently observed in the lycopene group compared with the RAI group.


As a first study assessing the protective effect of lycopene on gastrointestinal tract organs in a rat model after RAI, these preliminary basic research findings suggest that lycopene appears to exert radioprotective effects against RAI-induced acute gastrointestinal tract damage.

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