Hyposalivation and xerostomia create chronic oral complications that decrease the quality of life in head and neck cancer patients who are treated with radiotherapy. Experimental approaches to understanding mechanisms of salivary gland dysfunction and restoration have focused on in vivo models, which are handicapped by an inability to systematically screen therapeutic candidates and efficiencies in transfection capability to manipulate specific genes. The purpose of this salivary gland organotypic culture protocol is to evaluate maximal time of culture viability and characterize cellular changes following ex vivo radiation treatment. We utilized immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy to determine when specific cell populations and markers are present during a 30-day culture period. In addition, cellular markers previously reported in in vivo radiation models are evaluated in cultures that are irradiated ex vivo. Moving forward, this method is an attractive platform for rapid ex vivo assessment of murine and human salivary gland tissue responses to therapeutic agents that improve salivary function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)