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Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy. 131I ablation therapy is an effective treatment for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) but frequently causes radiation damage in salivary glands (SGs). Stem cell-based regenerative therapy has been found to reduce radiation sialadenitis. We hypothesize that microtubule motor-regulating protein lissencephaly-1 (LIS1) may be a key stem cell regulator responsible for its efficacy and that upregulating LIS1 would decrease131I-induced radiation sialadenitis. Here, we report that LIS1 was reduced by 131I in submandibular glands (SMGs) of rats, using both proteomic analysis and Western blot approach. Moreover, the levels of LIS1-Sca-1 and LIS1-SOX2 were downregulated by 131I together with the decrease of LIS1. In contrast, phenylephrine pretreatment enhanced LIS1 and improved the co-expressions and co-localizations of LIS1-Sca-1 and LIS1-SOX2 in 131I-irradiated SMGs. Since Sca-1 and SOX2 are the established stem cell biomarkers in salivary gland, our findings demonstrate that LIS1 may be a potential target for regulating stem cell maintenance in irradiated SGs. Importantly, phenylephrine may have the ability to promote endogenous stem cell regeneration in SMGs via upregulating the LIS1/Sca-1 and LIS1/SOX2 signaling pathways, suggesting that phenylephrine application before 131I ablation therapy may provide a practical and effective way to prevent radiation sialadenitis for DTC patients.LIS1 was reduced by 131I in submandibular glands of rats.LIS1-Sca-1 and LIS1-SOX2 were declined by 131I together with the decrease of LIS1.Phenylephrine improved cell proliferation via LIS1-Sca-1 and LIS1-SOX2 upregulation.Phenylephrine relieved 131I damage by promoting endogenous stem cell regeneration.