Immunohistochemical and quantitative changes in salivary EGF, amylase and haptocorrin following radiotherapy for oral cancer

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M E Christensen, H S Hansen, Steen Seier Poulsen, P Bretlau, E Nexo

Epidermal growth factor (EGF), amylase and haptocorrin are molecules produced in the salivary glands. The aim of the present study was to determine immunohistochemical and quantitative alterations in EGF as compared with haptocorrin and amylase following radiotherapy for oral cancer. Changes in the salivary secretion of EGF are of interest because of the importance of EGF in mucosal regeneration. Immunohistochemical studies on normal tissue from parotid and submandibular glands have demonstrated EGF in the serous acini with a tendency to single cell expression in the parotid gland. Amylase has been found in the serous acini of both the submandibular and parotid glands. Haptocorrin was localized in the duct system of both glands. In the submandibular glands with radiotherapy induced sialoadenitis only very few acini with weak or no staining for EGF and amylase were demonstrated, while no changes were observed in the staining for haptocorrin. Analysis on stimulated whole saliva samples collected from 20 healthy individuals and from 20 patients prior to, and 1, 2 and 3 weeks following radiotherapy showed significant reduction in salivary contents of EGF and amylase after treatment as expressed per g protein (p <0.0002). The salivary content of haptocorrin increased significantly after treatment (p <0.002). These alterations may be explained by the different cellular sites of the molecules studied, the serous acini being more sensitive to ionising radiation than the duct system. The concentration of EGF in saliva before treatment was significantly higher in patients than in the control group (p <0.02), which may indicate that the tumors induce increased secretion of salivary EGF, or alternatively that the oral tumors contribute with EGF to the saliva. In conclusion we have demonstrated a reduction in the mitogenic peptide EGF both immunohistochemically and quantitatively following irradiation for oral cancer, results which may contribute to the understanding of the clinical signs of mucositis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Volume116
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)137-43
Number of pages7
ISSN0001-6489
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996

    Research areas

  • Aged, Amylases, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Epidermal Growth Factor, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Middle Aged, Mouth, Mouth Neoplasms, Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms, Nasopharynx, Salivary Glands

ID: 47486959