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Investigation of the efficacy of systemic N-Acetyl Cysteine therapy preventing nasal mucositis following radiotherapy

Volume: 61 - Issue: 5

First page: 470 - Last page: 480

N.K. Çelebi - S.K. Öztürk - İ Palaoğlu - A. Somay - G. Yaprak - E. Algül - H.S. Deveci

Background: Radiotherapy (RT) is one of the main methods used in the treatment of head and neck cancers but may cause mucosal side effects in the tumor area and surrounding structures. These include nasal mucosal disorders and chronic rhinosinusitis due to disruption of the mucociliary system. This situation seriously affects the quality of life of the patients and there is no accepted effective method for its treatment yet. In our study, we aimed to examine the side effects of RT on the nasal mucosa and mucociliary system and to investigate histopathologically and immunohistochemically the effectiveness of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in preventing these side effects of RT.
Methodology: The study was carried out with 30 female Sprague Dawley rats devided in three groups. No intervention was made in the control group. On the second day of the experiment, 30 Gy radiotherapy was applied to the head area in the RT group. NAC was administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 1 g/kg/day for 14 days from the first day of the study to the RT+ NAC group. On the second day, 30 Gy of radiotherapy was applied to the head area 1 hour after the NAC application. On the 14th day, 1 hour after NAC was applied to the RT+NAC group, all animals were sacrificed. The nasal mucosa samples were stained with hematoxylin-eosin, and the intensity and extent of staining sentan in the nasopharyngeal tissue samples were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining using anti-SNTN antibody.
Results: The loss of cilia in the nasal tissue was lower in the RT+NAC group than in the RT group. The intensity and extent of staining in the nasopharyngeal tissue of Sentan was higher in the RT+NAC group than in the RT group. Mucosal neutrophil and mononuclear inflammatory cell infiltration in the nasal tissue, vascular dilatation, hyperemia and hemorrhage, erosion and shedding of the mucosal epithelium, mucosal ulceration were found to be similar in the RT+NAC group and the control group. It was milder in the RT+NAC group than in the RT group, but not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Radiotherapy caused pathological changes in the nasal mucosa, caused loss of cilia and a decrease in the level of Sentan, the cilia apical protein. The results of our study showed that NAC treatment can reduce the side effects of RT on the nasal mucosa. It also showed that NAC was effective in preventing the loss of cilia, which is the building block of the mucociliary system, and improving the expression of Sentan.

Rhinology 61-5: 470-480, 2023

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