Protective Role of Rheum tanguticum Polysaccharides 1 on Radiation-Induced Intestinal Mucosal Injury

Document Type : Research article


1 Laboratory of Department of thoracic surgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical Universit

2 Pharmacy Department, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University


The protective effects of Rheum tanguticum polysaccharide 1 (RTP1), which is extracted from the Chinese traditional medicine Rheum tanguticum, on radiation-induced intestinal mucosal injury was investigated. Rat intestinal crypt epithelial cells (IEC-6 cells) and Sprague-Dawley rats were each divided into control, irradiated and RTP1-pretreated irradiated groups. After irradiation, cell survival was determined by MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay, and the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was detected by fluorescent probe method. Apoptosis was observed by acridine orange staining, and cell cycle was analysed by flow cytometry. Histological analysis of the rat intestinal mucosa was conducted by haematoxylin and eosin staining. Irradiation at 8 Gy(Gray) decreased cell survival rate to only 54%, significantly increased intracellular ROS levels and induced apoptosis. RTP1 pretreatment significantly inhibited cell death, reduced the formation of intracellular ROS and partially inhibited apoptosis. Irradiation markedly reduced the height and quantity of rat intestinal villi, but it could be antagonised by RTP1 pretreatment. RTP1 can promote the recovery of intestinal mucosa damage, possibly by inhibiting radiation-induced intestinal epithelial apoptosis and intracellular ROS production.