Educational Objective: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participants should be able to understand that basic fibroblast growth factor prevents radiation induced damage in salivary glands. Objectives: Radiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for head and neck cancer. However, it is unavoidable to develop dry mouth syndrome as the common side effect because not only the tumor but also the normal salivary glands are included in the irradiation field. In this study, the protective efficacy of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was investigated in radiation damaged salivary glands. Study Design: Prospective animal experiment with control. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were divided into two groups. All mice in both groups were irradiated (10Gy) at one time. Mice in group I were administered by bFGF for 3 days after neck irradiation. Mice in group II were administered by distilled water as control. Submandibular glands morphology and saliva flow rate were assessed at 1 and 2 months after irradiation, and the apoptotic response of irradiated submandibular glands was also evaluated with and without bFGF treatment. Results: The decrease of saliva flow rates were severe in group II compared with group I. The submandibular glands in group I contained more acinar cells than in group II in histology. The glands with bFGF treatment examined at 1 and 2 days after irradiation did not almost detect apoptosis in comparison with no treatment. Conclusions: Our study indicates that bFGF prevents salivary gland dysfunction after irradiation. This protective effect of bFGF may be caused by the inhibition of radiation induced apoptosis.
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