Aim: This study was designed to evaluate the efficiency of montelukast as a novel radioprotective agent against sodium [131I]iodide or potassium [131I]iodide (131I)-induced salivary gland damage in a rat model.
Materials and methods: The function and structure of salivary glands in 50 albino Wistar rats were evaluated with technetium-99m pertechnetate scintigraphies and histopathological examination. The animals were classified into five groups as follows: the control group (sham operated); group 1 (n=10; only 131I administration), group 2 (n=10; administration with 131I and montelukast); group 3 (n=10; 131I administration after total thyroidectomy); and group 4 (n=10; administration with 131I and montelukast after total thyroidectomy). All rats were killed at the end of the third month and three pairs of salivary glands were removed surgically.
Results: The scintigraphic evaluation revealed better results for groups administered montelukast than it did for other groups. Statistically significant differences (P<0.05 or P<0.001) were found between the control group and the other groups as well as between groups 1 and 3 (n=20) and groups 2 and 4 (n=20). However, there was no statistically significant difference (P>0.05) between groups 1 and 2 (n=20) and groups 3 and 4 (n=20). Histopathological examinations showed that pathological changes were significantly high in the groups treated with 131I without montelukast when compared with the other groups.
Conclusion: This is the first study on rats to assess the protective effect of montelukast on salivary glands after 131I therapy. According to our results, montelukast was found to be a potential protective agent against 131I-induced damage on salivary glands.