The therapeutic effects of apigenin and dexamethasone on 5‐fluorouracil‐induced oral mucositis – a pilot study using a Syrian hamster model
Objective Oral mucositis (OM) is a common complication of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of treating 5‐fluorouracil‐induced OM with apigenin and dexamethasone. Methods Thirty‐six male Syrian hamsters were randomly assigned to one of three groups: control (50% acetic acid + 5‐FU), 50% acetic acid + 5‐FU + potassium Apigenin (KA), and 50% acetic acid + 5‐FU + dexamethasone. The animals from each group were sacrificed 5, 7, 10, and 14 days after inducing the mucositis, and two samples collected from each animal, accounting a total of 72 samples. Macroscopic changes were assessed by histomorphometric analysis, with ulcers being assessed by imaging analysis and the number of inflammatory cells in the ulcerated region quantified in all periods through histomorphometric analysis (H&E). Furthermore, immunohistochemical changes were evaluated by proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Results All groups presented an increased inflammatory infiltrate after 7 days, compared to other evaluation times ( P ≥ 0.05). There was significant difference between apigenin and control group in the 10‐days period. Lower quantity of inflammatory cells in the apigenin‐treated group in comparison with control group in the 7‐ and 10‐days periods was observed ( P Conclusions Apigenin treatment may enhance healing of OM induced by 5‐fluorouracil, thus suggesting that more extensive research in this area may be useful to assess the role of agents of natural origin capable of preventing OM. Hence, further studies involving broader samples are need to confirm the therapeutic potential shown by this study.
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