Objectives. Radioiodine (RI) therapy is known to subject cellular components of salivary glands (SG) to oxidative stress leading to SG dysfunction. However, the protective effects of antioxidants on RI-induced SG damage have not been well investigated. The authors investigated the morphometric and functional effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) administered prior to RI therapy and compared this with the effects of amifostine (a well-known antioxidant) in a murine model of RI sialadenitis. Methods. Four-week-old female C57BL/6 mice (n=48) were divided into four groups; a normal control group, a RI-treated group (0.01 mCi/g mouse, orally), an EGCG and RI-treated group, and an amifostine and RI-treated group. Animals in these groups were divided into 3 subgroups and euthanized at 15, 30, and 90 days post-RI treatment. Salivary flow rates and lag times were measured, and morphologic and histologic examinations and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUDP nick end labeling) assays were performed. Changes in salivary99mTc pertechnetate uptake and excretion were followed by single-photon emission computed tomography. Results. Salivary flow rates and lag times to salivation in the EGCG or amifostine groups were better than in the RI-treated group. Histologic examinations of SGs in the EGCG or amifostine group showed more mucin-rich parenchyma and less periductal fibrosis than in the RI-treated group. Fewer apoptotic cells were observed in acini, ducts, and among endothelial cells in the EGCG or amifostine group than in the RI group. In addition, patterns of99mTc pertechnetate excretion were quite different in the EGCG or amifostine group than in the RI group. Conclusion. EGCG supplementation before RI therapy could protect from RI-induced SG damage in a manner comparable to amifostine, and thus, offers a possible means of preventing SG damage by RI.
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