Combined pharmacological therapy of the acute radiation disease using a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor and an adenosine A(3) receptor agonist
Combined approaches to the treatment of acute radiation disease are preferred to single-agent therapies due to proven or anticipated better outcomes comprising increased therapeutic efficacy and decreased incidence of undesirable side effects. Our studies on post-exposure treatment of mice irradiated by sublethal or lethal doses of ionizing radiation included testing the effectiveness of meloxicam, a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, and IB-MECA, an adenosine A3 receptor agonist. The efficacy of meloxicam and IB-MECA to positively influence the progress of the acute radiation disease has been tested in situations of their combined administration with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or with each other. The results of our studies revealed a significantly improved regeneration of hematopoietic cell populations ranging from the bone marrow progenitor cells to mature blood cells following combined treatments. Also, survival of mice exposed to lethal radiation doses was highest in the animals treated with a combination of the two drugs. It can be inferred from the results that if the drug combinations employed were used in humans, e.g. in the treatment of victims of radiation accidents, a better therapeutic outcome could be expected. Therefore, further studies directed at clinical applications of meloxicam and IB-MECA in radiation victims is recommended.