Radiation protection and restoration by the synthetic 163-171 nonapeptide of human interleukin 1β

D. Frasca, S. Baschieri, D. Boraschi, A. Tagliabue, G. Doria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that the synthetic nonapeptide VQGEESNDK, position 163-171 of human interleukin 1 (IL-1β), when injected in immunodepressed mice, shows immunorestorative activity similar to that of the whole protein, but with no IL-1-like inflammatory effects [Frasca et al., J. Immunol. 141, 2651-2655 (1988)]. In the present study we have compared the protective and restorative activities of the nonapeptide and human recombinant (hur) IL-1β on the survival of lethally irradiated mice. When mice were given a single injection of different doses of the nonapeptide or hurIL-1β 20 h before total-body irradiation, both molecules increased the percentage survival of mice exposed to 750 or 850 cGy, but not to 950 cGy. The nonapeptide, however, is less effective than hurIL-1β and displays a different dose-response relationship, suggesting that the two molecules act through different radioprotective pathways. When mice were injected with the nonapeptide or hurIL-1β immediately after exposure to 850 cGy, the percentage survival was also increased but restoration was lower than protection in both cases. The nonapeptide was also less effective than hurIL-1β in restoration, but the two molecules displayed a comparable dose-response relationship as if they shared similar mechanisms. These findings indicate that the 163-171 nonapeptide is able to protect from lethal radiation injury and to restore viability. The nonapeptide appears less effective than hurIL-1β but does not exhibit the IL-1-like side effects of the whole molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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