Some in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that adesosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic AMP) may be one of the important factors in determining the radiosensitivity of certain mammalian cells; however, the role of guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic GMP) in radiosensitivity of mammalian cells is completely unknown. Recent data also suggest that the mechanism of radiation protection afforded by moderate hypoxia and SH-containing compounds may involve an alteration in the intracellular level of cyclic AMP. At least one in vivo study shows that cyclic AMP protects hair follicles and gut epithelial cells against radiation damage; however, it does not protect lymphosarcoma and breast carcinoma in mice. If a similar phenomenon is found in humans, an elevation of the intracellular level of cyclic AMP during radiation exposure may improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy in those cases where the radiation damage of normal tissue becomes the limiting factor for a continuation of the therapy program. More in vitro and in vivo studies on normal and cancer cells are needed to substantiate the role of cyclic nucleotides in radiosensitivity. © 1981.
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