Doctoral Dissertations


Wei Wu


"The nuclear accidents and the threat of a terrorist nuclear attack have raised awareness that high-dose total body irradiation may occur. The systemic damage observed following irradiation is partially due to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which disrupt the delicate pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance of tissues leading to protein, lipid, and DNA oxidation. Thiol supplementation to maintain tissue redox balance has been studied by various researchers. Cysteine and glutathione delivery compounds have been used to protect normal cells from anti-tumor agents and radiation. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a well-known antioxidant which is capable of facilitating glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis and replenishing intracellular GSH under oxidatively challenging circumstances. N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA), the amide form of NAC, is a newly designed and synthesized thiol-containing compound which is believed to be more lipophilic and able to more easily cross cell membranes than NAC can. A strong antioxidant which can be administered orally, such as NACA, may play an important role in preventing radiation-induced side effects in normal tissues and the whole body during unexpected radiation accidents. Our purpose is to explore the radio-protective effects of the novel cell-permeating thiol antioxidant, NACA, and thereby to explain the mechanism that provides protection against radiation to cells and animals. Various experimental designs were set up in order to investigate the in vivo and in vitro radioprotective abilities of NACA. Our preliminary evidence indicates that NACA seems to be an ideal radioprotector, and it can modulate the radiation injury and provide protection for cells and animals against ionizing radiation. It also has the ability to modulate the intracellular supplies of cysteine (CYS) and glutathione (GSH), the most important natural antioxidants"--Abstract, page iii.


Ercal, Nuran

Committee Member(s)

Ma, Yinfa
Sinn, Ekkehard
Frank, Ronald L.
Matthews, Richard H.



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Separation and Quantification of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and N-acetyl-cysteine-amide (NACA) by HPLC with Fluorescence Detection


xii, 126 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2006 Wei Wu, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Oxidative stress
Radiation-protective agents

Thesis Number

T 9051

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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