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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 70-76.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110112

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Protective effects of Chinese herbal medicine Huqi extractum on salivary glands against radiation in Wistar rats

Yan-li Zhang, Li-ping Qin, Kai-li Wang, Bai Li()   

  1. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2010-10-08 Accepted:2010-11-28 Online:2011-01-20 Published:2011-01-15
  • Contact: Li Bai E-mail:libai9@126.com

Objective: To explore the protective effects of Huqi extractum, a compound Chinese herbal medicine, on salivary glands against radiation in Wistar rats.
Methods: One hundred Wistar rats were randomly divided into sham-exposure group, untreated group, and low-, medium- and high-dose Huqi groups. Local irradiation of 60Co gamma-rays with a single dose of 15 Gy was applied to the salivary glands of the Wistar rats except the sham-exposure group. After 3- and 40-day treatment, saliva was collected. Colorimetric method, iodine-amylase colorimetric method and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to detect concentrations of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+) and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and activity of salivary amylase. Pathological changes of salivary gland tissues were observed by hematoxylin-eosin straining.
Results: After 3-day administration, radiation-induced salivary gland injuries were obvious and prevalent in irradiated rats. Comparing with the sham-exposure group, saliva concentration of sIgA and body weight were reduced in other irradiated groups, except those in the high-dose Huqi group, while salivary amylase level was increased. At 3-day phase, pathologic changes of the salivary glands were featured as swelling acinus plasm and vacuolation. At 40-day phase, atrophy of gland cells was dominant. After 40-day administration, there were no significant differences between the high-dose Huqi group and sham-exposure group in sIgA and amylase levels and body weight, and according to the histological examination, no significant difference was revealed under the optical microscope.
Conclusion: Chinese herbal medicine is helpful for the recovery of the salivary glands from the radiation injury, morphologically and functionally in rats.

Key words: supplementing qi and nourishing yin, Chinese herbal medicine, radiation protection, salivary gland, rats

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Figure 1

Pathological changes of parotid glands on the 4th day after radiotherapy observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining (Light microscopy, ×400)A: Untreated group; B: Low-dose Huqi group; C: Medium-dose Huqi group; D: High-dose Huqi group; E: Sham-exposure group."

Figure 2

Pathological changes of parotid glands on the 41st day after radiotherapy observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining (Light microscopy, ×400) A: Untreated group; B: Low-dose Huqi group; C: Medium-dose Huqi group; D: High-dose Huqi group; E: Sham-exposure group."

Figure 3

Pathological changes of submandibular glands on the 4th day after radiotherapy observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining (Light microscopy, ×400) A: Untreated group; B: Low-dose Huqi group; C: Medium-dose Huqi group; D: High-dose Huqi group; E: Sham-exposure group."

Figure 4

Pathological changes of submandibular glands on the 41st day after radiotherapy observed by hematoxylin-eosin staining (Light microscopy, ×400) A: Untreated group; B: Low-dose Huqi group; C: Medium-dose Huqi group; D: High-dose Huqi group; E: Sham-exposure group."

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