Fractionated head and neck irradiation impacts taste progenitors, differentiated taste cells, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in adult mice

Dany Gaillard, Lauren A. Shechtman, Sarah E. Millar, Linda A. Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Head and neck cancer patients receiving conventional repeated, low dose radiotherapy (fractionated IR) suffer from taste dysfunction that can persist for months and often years after treatment. To understand the mechanisms underlying functional taste loss, we established a fractionated IR mouse model to characterize how taste buds are affected. Following fractionated IR, we found as in our previous study using single dose IR, taste progenitor proliferation was reduced and progenitor cell number declined, leading to interruption in the supply of new taste receptor cells to taste buds. However, in contrast to a single dose of IR, we did not encounter increased progenitor cell death in response to fractionated IR. Instead, fractionated IR induced death of cells within taste buds. Overall, taste buds were smaller and fewer following fractionated IR, and contained fewer differentiated cells. In response to fractionated IR, expression of Wnt pathway genes, Ctnnb1, Tcf7, Lef1 and Lgr5 were reduced concomitantly with reduced progenitor proliferation. However, recovery of Wnt signaling post-IR lagged behind proliferative recovery. Overall, our data suggest carefully timed, local activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling may mitigate radiation injury and/or speed recovery of taste cell renewal following fractionated IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17934
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Nov 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fractionated head and neck irradiation impacts taste progenitors, differentiated taste cells, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in adult mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this