Mitophagy induction improves salivary gland stem/progenitor cell function by reducing senescence after irradiation

Davide Cinat, Anna Lena De Souza, Abel Soto-Gamez, Anne L Jellema-de Bruin, Rob P Coppes, Lara Barazzuol*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Patients undergoing radiotherapy for head and neck cancer often experience a decline in their quality of life due to the co-irradiation of salivary glands. Radiation-induced cellular senescence is a key factor contributing to salivary gland dysfunction. Interestingly, mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular senescence have been reported to be strongly interconnected and thus implicated in several aging-related diseases. This study aims to investigate the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in senescence induction in salivary gland stem/progenitor cells after irradiation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A dose of 7 Gy photons was used to irradiate mouse salivary gland organoids. Senescent markers and mitochondrial function were assessed using rt-qPCR, western blot analysis, SA-β-Gal staining and flow cytometry analysis. Mitochondrial dynamics-related proteins were detected by western blot analysis while Mdivi-1 and MFI8 were used to modulate the mitochondrial fission process. To induce mitophagy, organoids were treated with Urolithin A and PMI and subsequently stem/progenitor cell self-renewal capacity was assessed as organoid forming efficiency.

RESULTS: Irradiation led to increased senescence and accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria. This was accompanied by a strong downregulation of mitochondrial fission-related proteins and mitophagy-related genes. After irradiation, treatment with the mitophagy inducer Urolithin A attenuated the senescent phenotype and improved organoid growth and stem/progenitor cell self-renewal capacity.

CONCLUSION: This study shows the important interplay between senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction after irradiation. Importantly, activation of mitophagy improved salivary gland stem/progenitor cell function thereby providing a novel therapeutic strategy to restore the regenerative capacity of salivary glands following irradiation.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftRadiotherapy and Oncology
Vroegere onlinedatum24-nov.-2023
StatusPublished - jan.-2024

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