In recent years the protective action of sulfhydryl-containing compounds on changes induced by ionizing radiations has been comprehensively reported. After the early reports by Patt et al. (1949),1 Chapman et al. (1949),2 and Barron and Dickman (1949),3 information accumulated that sulfhydrylcontaining compounds act as competitive acceptors for certain injurious products, such as hydroxyl and perhydroxyl radicals, formed in irradiation of the tissue water in the presence of oxygen. It seems probable that some protection may be obtained in any tissue, provided that a sufficient sulfhydryl concentration can be established. The actual degree of protection cannot be anticipated until sufficient experimental evidence is available to determine whether the action of the drug can be interpreted entirely on the basis of a reduction in the initial amount of radiation damage.
Glutathione was selected for the present experiments because mammalian tissues all contain appreciable amounts of glutathione, indicating that regulatory
SWANSON AA, ROSE HW, TAUBE JI. Glutathione Protection in X-Irradiated EyesA Preliminary Report on Enzymatic and Clinical Changes. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(6):832-839. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050844005