A side effect of radiation therapy in the head and neck region is injury to surrounding healthy tissues such as irreversible impaired function of the salivary glands. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT is clinically used to treat radiation-induced damage but its mechanism of action is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the molecular pathways that are affected by HBOT in mouse salivary glands two weeks after radiation therapy by microarray analysis. Interestingly, HBOT led to significant attenuation of the radiation-induced expression of a set of genes and upstream regulators that are involved in processes such as fibrosis and tissue regeneration. Our data suggest that the TGFβ-pathway, which is involved in radiation-induced fibrosis and chronic loss of function after radiation therapy, is affected by HBOT. On the longer term, HBOT reduced the expression of the fibrosis-associated factor α-smooth muscle actin in irradiated salivary glands. This study highlights the potential of HBOT to inhibit the TGFβ-pathway in irradiated salivary glands and to restrain consequential radiation induced tissue injury.

doi.org/10.2119/molmed.2014.00003, hdl.handle.net/1765/57426
Molecular Medicine
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Spiegelberg, L, Swagemakers, S.M.A, van IJcken, W.F.J, Oole, E, Wolvius, E.B, Essers, J, & Braks, M.A.H. (2014). Gene expression analysis reveals inhibition of radiation- induced TGFβ-signaling by hyperbaric oxygen therapy in mouse salivary glands. Molecular Medicine, 20(1), 257–269. doi:10.2119/molmed.2014.00003