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    The molecule 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) is small, a major bioactive metabolite of indole-3 carbinol (13C), and a phytochemical compound from cruciferous vegetables released upon exposure to the gut acid environment. DIM is a proposed anti-cancer agent and was previously demonstrated to prevent radiation damage in the bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract. Here we investigated the effect of DIM on radiation-induced injury to the lung in a murine model through untargeted metabolomics and gene expression studies of select genes. CBA mice were exposed to thoracic irradiation (17.5 Gy). Mice were treated with vehicle or DIM (250 mg kg, subcutaneous injection) on days -1 pre-irradiation through +14 post-irradiation. DIM induced a significant improvement in survival by day 150 post-irradiation. Fibrosis-related gene expression and metabolomics were examined using lung tissue from days 15, 45, 60, 90, and 120 post-irradiation. Our qRT-PCR experiments showed that DIM treatment reduced radiation-induced late expression of collagen Iα and the cell cycle checkpoint proteins p21/waf1 (CDKN1A) and p16ink (CDKN2A). Metabolomic studies of lung tissue demonstrated a significant dampening of radiation-induced changes following DIM treatment. Metabolites associated with pro-inflammatory responses and increased oxidative stress, such as fatty acids, were suppressed by DIM treatment compared to irradiated samples. Together these data suggest that DIM reduces radiation-induced sequelae in the lung.


    Evagelia C Laiakis, Elizabeth A McCart, Annabella Deziel, W Bradley Rittase, Roxane M Bouten, Jyoti Jha, W Louis Wilkins, Regina M Day, Albert J Fornace. Effect of 3,3'-Diindolylmethane on Pulmonary Injury Following Thoracic Irradiation in CBA Mice. Health physics. 2020 Dec;119(6):746-757

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    PMID: 32384373

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