Salivary Gland - Atrophy
Decreased food consumption or protein starvation can reduce the weight of salivary glands in rats. Shrinking of mucous and serous glands and loss of zymogen granules are associated with decreased RNA but unchanged DNA content, attributable to the reduced requirements for protein synthesis. As salivary gland function is responsive to adrenergic stimulation, it is not surprising that atrophy occurs following adrenergic blockage. The weights of the submandibular gland in mice were shown to decrease after administration of the B-adrenergic blocking agent propranolol. This was associated with a reduction in stainable neutral mucins and a decrease in the thickness of the acinar cells, making the gland lumens appear larger than normal.
Salivary gland atrophy occurs occasionally in aging B6C3F1 mice. The atrophy generally affects individual lobules and is characterized by a decrease in the size of acini and acinar epithelial cells, which may be accompanied by an infiltrate of chronic inflammatory cells and an increase in interstitial connective tissue and/or in the number of glandular ducts. The submandibular and parotid glands tend to be involved more commonly than the sublingual gland.
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