Gamma-tocotrienol (GT3), a naturally occurring vitamin E isomer, a promising radioprotector, has been shown to protect mice against radiation-induced hematopoietic and gastrointestinal injuries. We analyzed changes in protein expression profiles of spleen tissue after GT3 treatment in mice exposed to gamma radiation to gain insights into the molecular mechanism of radioprotective efficacy. Male CD2F1 mice, 12-to-14 weeks old, were treated with either vehicle or GT3 at 24 h prior to 7 Gy total-body irradiation. Nonirradiated vehicle, nonirradiated GT3 and age-matched naïve animals were used as controls. Blood and tissues were harvested on days 0, 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 and 14 postirradiation. High-resolution mass-spectrometry-based radioproteomics was used to identify differentially expressed proteins in spleen tissue with or without drug treatment. Subsequent bioinformatic analyses helped delineate molecular markers of biological pathways and networks regulating the cellular radiation responses in spleen. Our results show a robust alteration in spleen proteomic profiles including upregulation of the Wnt signaling pathway and actin-cytoskeleton linked proteins in mediating the radiation injury response in spleen. Furthermore, we show that 24 h pretreatment with GT3 attenuates radiation-induced hematopoietic injury in the spleen by modulating various cell signaling proteins. Taken together, our results show that the radioprotective effects of GT3 are mediated, via alleviation of radiation-induced alterations in biochemical pathways, with wide implications on overall hematopoietic injury.
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