Xerostomia is a common radiation sequela, which has a negative impact on the quality of life of patients with head and neck cancer. Current treatment strategies offer only partial relief. Botulinum toxins (BTX) have been successfully used in treating a variety of radiation sequelae such as cystitis, proctitis, fibrosis, and facial pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of BTX on radiation-induced salivary gland damage.We used a previously established model for murine salivary gland irradiation (IR). The submandibular glands (SMGs) of C5BL/6 mice (n=6/group) were injected with saline or BTX 72 hours before receiving 15 Gy of focal irradiation. Saliva flow was measured 3, 7, and 28 days after treatment. The SMGs were collected for immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and Western blotting. A cytokine array consisting of 40 different mouse cytokines was used to evaluate cytokine profiles after radiation treatment.Irradiated mice showed a 50% reduction in saliva flow after 3 days, whereas mice preinjected with BTX had 25% reduction in saliva flow (P<.05). Cell death detected by TUNEL staining was similar in SMG sections of both groups. However, neutrophil infiltrate, detected by myeloperoxidase staining, was 3-fold lower for the BTX treated mice. A cytokine array showed a 2-fold upregulation of LPS-induced chemokine (LIX/CXCL5) 3 days after IR. BTX pretreatment reduced LIX levels by 40%. At 4 weeks after IR, the saline (control) group showed a 40% reduction in basal SMG weight, compared with 20% in the BTX group. Histologically, BTX-pretreated glands showed relative preservation of acinar structures after radiation.These data suggest that BTX pretreatment ameliorates radiation-induced saliva dysfunction. Moreover, we demonstrate a novel role for CXCL5 in the acute phase of salivary gland damage after radiation. These results carry important clinical implications for the treatment of xerostomia in patients with head and neck cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.12.371
View details for Web of Science ID 000372564800026
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4839970