ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to investigate the presence of ADAMTS2 and ADAMTS5 in the salivary gland (SG) of rats after high-dose radioiodine therapy.MethodsA total of 36 male Wistar albino rats were used for this study. Thirty-six male rats were divided randomly into six groups: control and five radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment groups of six rats each. All animals were killed. The evaluation of biodistribution and histopathological studies were carried out on the SGs removed. Real-time PCR and immunohistochemical analysis were carried out to determine mRNA and protein expression levels of ADAMTS genes. Differences between the groups were evaluated statistically.ResultsIn RAI-treated groups, ADAMTS2 and ADAMTS5 gene expression was observed to increase, whereas there was no mRNA or protein expression in the control group. There were statistically significant increases in the mRNA expression of ADAMTS2 (all RAI-administered groups in parathyroid gland and at 4, 24, and 48h in submandibular gland) and ADAMTS5 (all RAI-administered groups, except on the 30th day in the parathyroid gland and all RAI groups in submandibular gland). Through immunohistochemical analysis, the staining pattern in the extracellular source was also observed in the overexpressed ADAMTS2 and ADAMTS5 groups. Nuclear coarsening and partial focal subnuclei vacuolization were determined in all RAI-administered groups with histopathological examinations.ConclusionAn increase in the mRNA expression levels of ADAMTS2 and ADAMTS5 genes was detected in the RAI-administered groups. These results suggested that ADAMTS2 and ADAMTS5 genes might play a role in radiation exposure and radioiodine-induced SG changes.