Intraglandular transplantation of bone marrow-derived clonal mesenchymal stem cells for amelioration of post-irradiation salivary gland damage

Jae Yol Lim, Tacghee Yi, Jeong Seok Choi, Yun Ho Jang, Songyi Lee, Hun Jung Kim, Sun U. Song, Young Mo Kim

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106 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: External irradiation in head and neck cancers may induce irreversible hyposalivation and consequent xerostomia, stemming from radiation damage to salivary glands (SGs). As cell-based therapy has been reported to be able to repair or restore damaged SG tissues, we attempted to determine whether bone marrow-derived clonal mesenchymal stem cells (BM-cMSCs) can ameliorate irradiation-induced salivary gland damage via a murine model. Methods: External irradiation at a dose of 15 Gy was delivered to the neck fields of C57BL/6 mice. We directly administered either homologous mouse BM-cMSCs labeled with PKH26 (treatment group) or PBS (control group) into SGs 24 h after irradiation. Salivary flow rate (SFR) and lag time of salivation were measured at 12 weeks after transplantation. At 4 and 12 weeks post-transplantation, we performed morphological, histological, and immunofluorescent examinations. Transdifferentiation of administered BM-cMSCs into salivary epithelial cells was observed by confocal microscopy. Results: SFR was significantly increased in BM-cMSCs-transplanted mice compared with PBS-injected mice at 12 weeks after transplantation. Administration of BM-cMSCs preserved the microscopic morphologies of SGs, with more functional acini in BM-cMSC-transplanted SGs than in PBS-injected SGs. Immunofluorescent staining revealed less apoptotic cells and increased microvessel density in BM-cMSC-transplanted SGs compared with PBS-injected SGs. PKH-26 labeled BM-cMSCs were detected in transplanted SGs at 4 weeks after transplantation and in vivo transdifferentiation of BM-cMSCs into acinar cells was also observed. Conclusion: This study suggests that BM-cMSCs can ameliorate salivary damage following irradiation and can be used as a source of cell-based therapy for restoration of irradiation-induced salivary hypofunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. 2011-001847). This study was also supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (2011-0019634) of the National Research Foundation by the Korean government (MEST).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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