Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 274, Issue 3, pp 559–566 | Cite as

In vivo secretory responses of submandibular glands in streptozotocin-diabetic rats to sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve stimulation

  • Leigh C. Anderson
  • John R. Garrett
  • Ahmed H. Suleiman
  • Gordon B. Proctor
  • Ka-Ming Chan
  • Robert Hartley


Submandibular gland responses to sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve stimulation were studied in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Morphologically, the acinar cells in control glands were relatively uniform in size and contained electron-lucent granules. The granular ducts were distinguished by the presence of electron-dense granules. With the exception of intracellular lipid droplets and the presence of a few autophagosomes in diabetic glands, no consistent differences in acinar cell structure were observed. In contrast, the diameter of the granular ducts and the granule content of their cells were less in diabetic glands. At 3 weeks sympathetic flow rate, salivary protein concentration, and total protein output were unaffected by diabetes. Sympathetic flow rate was greater at 3 months, and the concentration of protein in the saliva was lower. In 6-month diabetic rats flow rate remained increased, but protein concentration and total protein output were reduced. The decrease in salivary protein concentration at 3 and 6 months was accompanied by a reduction in secretory granule release from acinar and granular duct cells. No consistent differences in flow rate, protein concentration, protein output, or secretory granule release were observed following parasympathetic stimulation. We conclude that the effects of diabetes on nerve-stimulated flow rate and protein release depend on the duration of diabetes and the type of stimulation, and are independent of one another.

Key words

Diabetes Submandibular gland Sympathetic innervation Parasympathetic innervation Rat (Wistar) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leigh C. Anderson
    • 1
  • John R. Garrett
    • 2
  • Ahmed H. Suleiman
    • 2
  • Gordon B. Proctor
    • 2
  • Ka-Ming Chan
    • 2
  • Robert Hartley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral BiologyUniversity of Washington, SB-22SeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oral PathologyKing's College School of Medicine and DentistryLondonUK

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