Kirsten Limesand

Kirsten Limesand, PhD, is interested in how radiation therapy for head and neck cancer causes adverse secondary side effects in the normal salivary gland including xerostomia, oral mucositis, malnutrition, and increased oral infections. Although improvements have been made in targeting radiation treatment to the tumor, the salivary glands are often in close proximity to the treatment site. The significant destruction of the oral cavity following radiation therapy results in diminished quality of life and in some cases interruptions in cancer treatment schedules.
Her research program has its foundation in radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction; mechanisms of damage, clinical prevention measures, and restoration therapies. Evidence suggests that salivary acinar function is compromised due to apoptosis induced by these treatments and temporary suppression of apoptotic events in salivary glands would have significant benefits to oral health. In her lab, they utilize a number of techniques including: genetically engineered mouse models, real-time RT/PCR, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, primary cultures, siRNA transfections, irradiation, and procedures to quantitate salivary gland physiology.
			
Igf1 Activates Cell Cycle Arrest Following Irradiation By Reducing Binding Of Δnp63 To The P21 Promoter. Source: Cell Death & Disease
April 8th, 2011 PMID: 21480565 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
Radiotherapy for head and neck tumors often results in persistent loss of function in salivary glands. Patients suffering from impaired salivary function frequently terminate treatment prematurely because of reduced quality of life caused by malnutrition and other debilitating side-effects. It has been previously shown in mice expressing a constitutively active form of Akt (myr-Akt1), or in mice pretreated with IGF1, apoptosis is suppressed, which correlates with maintained salivary gland function measured by stimulated salivary flow. Induction of cell cycle arrest may be important for this protection by allowing cells time for DNA repair. We have observed increased accumulation of cells in G2/M at acute time-points after irradiation in parotid glands of mice receiving pretreatment with IGF1. As p21, a transcriptional target of the p53 family, is necessary for maintaining G2/M arrest, we analyzed the roles of p53 and p63 in modulating IGF1-stimulated p21 expression. Pretreatment with IGF1 reduces binding of ΔNp63 to the p21 promoter after irradiation, which coincides with increased p53 binding and sustained p21 transcription. Our data indicate a role for ΔNp63 in modulating p53-dependent gene expression and influencing whether a cell death or cell cycle arrest program is initiated.<br><br>
Exploiting Tyrosinase Expression And Activity In Melanocytic Tumors: Quercetin And The Central Role Of P53. Source: Integrative Cancer Therapies
December 31st, 2010 PMID: 21196432 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
Melanoma is an aggressive tumor that expresses the pigmentation enzyme tyrosinase. Tyrosinase expression increases during tumorigenesis, which could allow for selective treatment of this tumor type by strategies that use tyrosinase activity. Approaches targeting tyrosinase would involve gene transcription or signal transduction pathways mediated by p53 in a direct or indirect manner. Two pathways are proposed for exploiting tyrosinase expression: (a) a p53-dependent pathway leading to apoptosis or arrest and (b) a reactive oxygen species-mediated induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress in p53 mutant tumors. Both strategies could use tyrosinase-mediated activation of quercetin, a dietary polyphenol that induces the expression of p53 and modulates reactive oxygen species. In addition to antitumor signaling properties, activation of quercetin could complement conventional cancer therapy by the induction of phase II detoxification enzymes resulting in p53 stabilization and transduction of its downstream targets. In conclusion, recent advances in tyrosinase enzymology, prodrug chemistry, and modern chemotherapeutics present an intriguing and selective multitherapy targeting system where dietary bioflavonoids could be used to complement conventional cancer treatments.<br><br>
Head And Neck Tumor Cell Radiation Response Occurs In The Presence Of Igf1. Source: Journal Of Dental Research
November 12th, 2010 PMID: 21076120 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
Radiation therapy for head and neck cancer results in severe secondary side-effects in salivary glands. We previously demonstrated that the administration of IGF1 preserves or restores salivary gland function following radiation. Based on these findings, we propose to study the effect of IGF1 on human head and neck carcinoma cells. Head and neck tumor cells treated with radiation have significant reductions in tumor cell survival, as measured by MTT and crystal violet assays, regardless of IGF1 pre-treatment. Head and neck squamous carcinoma cell xenografts treated with concurrent radiation+IGF1 also exhibit significant tumor growth delay; however, growth rates are elevated compared with those in irradiated xenografts. In contrast, administration of IGF1 after radiation treatment has no effect on tumor xenograft growth rates. Analysis of these data suggests that localized delivery may be required for concurrent therapy to prevent secondary side-effects of radiotherapy, while post-therapy administration of IGF1 could be considered for the restoration of salivary function.<br><br>
Igf1 Activates Cell Cycle Arrest Following Irradiation By Reducing Binding Of Δnp63 To The P21 Promoter. Source: Cell Death & Disease
October 26th, 2010 PMID: 20852680 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
Radiotherapy for head and neck tumors often results in persistent loss of function in salivary glands. Patients suffering from impaired salivary function frequently terminate treatment prematurely because of reduced quality of life caused by malnutrition and other debilitating side-effects. It has been previously shown in mice expressing a constitutively active form of Akt (myr-Akt1), or in mice pretreated with IGF1, apoptosis is suppressed, which correlates with maintained salivary gland function measured by stimulated salivary flow. Induction of cell cycle arrest may be important for this protection by allowing cells time for DNA repair. We have observed increased accumulation of cells in G2/M at acute time-points after irradiation in parotid glands of mice receiving pretreatment with IGF1. As p21, a transcriptional target of the p53 family, is necessary for maintaining G2/M arrest, we analyzed the roles of p53 and p63 in modulating IGF1-stimulated p21 expression. Pretreatment with IGF1 reduces binding of ΔNp63 to the p21 promoter after irradiation, which coincides with increased p53 binding and sustained p21 transcription. Our data indicate a role for ΔNp63 in modulating p53-dependent gene expression and influencing whether a cell death or cell cycle arrest program is initiated.<br><br>
Clinical Management Of Salivary Gland Hypofunction And Xerostomia In Head And Neck Cancer Patients: Successes And Barriers. Source: International Journal Of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
October 25th, 2010 PMID: 20970030 Kirsten Limesand
The most significant long-term complication of radiotherapy in the head-and-neck region is hyposalivation and its related complaints, particularily xerostomia. This review addresses the pathophysiology underlying irradiation damage to salivary gland tissue, the consequences of radiation injury, and issues contributing to the clinical management of salivary gland hypofunction and xerostomia. These include ways to (1) prevent or minimize radiation injury of salivary gland tissue, (2) manage radiation-induced hyposalivation and xerostomia, and (3) restore the function of salivary gland tissue damaged by radiotherapy.<br><br>
Restoration Of Radiation Therapy Induced Salivary Gland Dysfunction In Mice By Post Therapy Igf 1 Administration. Source: Bmc Cancer
August 10th, 2010 PMID: 20698985 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
BACKGROUND:<br>Radiotherapy for head and neck cancer results in severe and chronic salivary gland dysfunction in most individuals. This results in significant side effects including xerostomia, dysphagia, and malnutrition which are linked to significant reductions in patients' quality of life. Currently there are few xerostomia treatment approaches that provide long-term results without significant side effects. To address this problem we investigated the potential for post-therapeutic IGF-1 to reverse radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction.<br><br>METHODS:<br>FVB mice were treated with targeted head and neck radiation and significant reductions in salivary function were confirmed 3 days after treatment. On days 4-8 after radiation, one group of mice was injected intravenously with IGF-1 while a second group served as a vehicle control. Stimulated salivary flow rates were evaluated on days 30, 60, and 90 and histological analysis was performed on days 9, 30, 60, and 90.<br><br>RESULTS:<br>Irradiated animals receiving vehicle injections have 40-50% reductions in stimulated salivary flow rates throughout the entire time course. Mice receiving injections of IGF-1 have improved stimulated salivary flow rates 30 days after treatment. By days 60-90, IGF-1 injected mice have restored salivary flow rates to unirradiated control mice levels. Parotid tissue sections were stained for amylase as an indicator of functioning acinar cells and significant reductions in total amylase area are detected in irradiated animals compared to unirradiated groups on all days. Post-therapeutic injections of IGF-1 results in increased amylase-positive acinar cell area and improved amylase secretion. Irradiated mice receiving IGF-1 show similar proliferation indices as untreated mice suggesting a return to tissue homeostasis.<br><br>CONCLUSIONS:<br>Post-therapeutic IGF-1 treatment restores salivary gland function potentially through normalization of cell proliferation and improved expression of amylase. These findings could aid in the rational design of therapy protocols or drugs for the treatment of radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction in patients who have completed their anti-cancer therapies.<br><br>
Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 Preserves Salivary Gland Function After Fractionated Radiation. Source: International Journal Of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
July 16th, 2010 PMID: 20638195 Kirsten Limesand
PURPOSE:<br>Radiotherapy for head-and-neck cancer consists of fractionated radiation treatments that cause significant damage to salivary glands leading to chronic salivary gland dysfunction with only limited prevention and treatment options currently available. This study examines the feasibility of IGF-1 in preserving salivary gland function following a fractionated radiation treatment regimen in a pre-clinical model.<br><br>METHODS AND MATERIALS:<br>Mice were exposed to fractionated radiation, and salivary gland function and histological analyses of structure, apoptosis, and proliferation were evaluated.<br><br>RESULTS:<br>In this study, we report that treatment with fractionated doses of radiation results in a significant level of apoptotic cells in FVB mice after each fraction, which is significantly decreased in transgenic mice expressing a constitutively active mutant of Akt1 (myr-Akt1). Salivary gland function is significantly reduced in FVB mice exposed to fractionated radiation; however, myr-Akt1 transgenic mice maintain salivary function under the same treatment conditions. Injection into FVB mice of recombinant insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which activates endogenous Akt, suppressed acute apoptosis and preserved salivary gland function after fractionated doses of radiation 30 to 90 days after treatment. FVB mice exposed to fractionated radiation had significantly lower levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive salivary acinar cells 90 days after treatment, which correlated with a chronic loss of function. In contrast, FVB mice injected with IGF-1 before each radiation treatment exhibited acinar cell proliferation rates similar to those of untreated controls.<br><br>CONCLUSION:<br>These studies suggest that activation of IGF-1-mediated pathways before head-and-neck radiation could modulate radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction and maintain glandular homeostasis.<br><br>
Quercetin Abrogates Chemoresistance In Melanoma Cells By Modulating Delta Np73. Source: Bmc Cancer
June 11th, 2010 PMID: 20540768 Kirsten Limesand Randy Burd
BACKGROUND:<br>The alkylating agent dacarbazine (DTIC) has been used in the treatment of melanoma for decades, but when used as a monotherapy for cancer only moderate response rates are achieved. Recently, the clinical use of temozolomide (TMZ) has become the more commonly used analog of DTIC-related oral agents because of its greater bioavailability and ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The response rates achieved by TMZ are also unsatisfactory, so there is great interest in identifying compounds that could be used in combination therapy. We have previously demonstrated that the bioflavonoid quercetin (Qct) promoted a p53-mediated response and sensitized melanoma to DTIC. Here we demonstrate that Qct also sensitizes cells to TMZ and propose a mechanism that involves the modulation of a truncated p53 family member, deltaNp73.<br><br>METHODS:<br>DB-1 melanoma (p53 wildtype), and SK Mel 28 (p53 mutant) cell lines were treated with TMZ (400 microM) for 48 hrs followed by Qct (75 microM) for 24 hrs. Cell death was determined by Annexin V-FITC staining and immunocytochemical analysis was carried out to determine protein translocation.<br><br>RESULTS:<br>After treatment with TMZ, DB-1 cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and p53. However, the cells were resistant to TMZ-induced apoptosis and the resistance was associated with an increase in nuclear localization of deltaNp73. Qct treatment in combination with TMZ abolished drug insensitivity and caused a more than additive induction of apoptosis compared to either treatment alone. Treatment with Qct, caused redistribution of deltaNp73 into the cytoplasm and nucleus, which has been associated with increased p53 transcriptional activity. Knockdown of deltaNp73 restored PARP cleavage in the TMZ treated cells, confirming its anti-apoptotic role. The response to treatment was predominantly p53 mediated as the p53 mutant SK Mel 28 cells showed no significant enhancement of apoptosis.<br><br>CONCLUSION:<br>This study demonstrates that Qct can sensitize cells to TMZ and that the mechanisms of sensitization involve modulation of p53 family members.<br><br>
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