Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 58, Number 2


Structural characteristics of goat (Capra hircus) parotid salivary glands

Elewa, Yaser Hosny;Bareedy, Mohammad Hafez;Abuel-Atta, Ahmed Awad;Ichii, Osamu;Otsuka, Saori;Kanazawa, Tomonori;Lee, Shinhyo;Hashimoto, Yoshiharu;Kon, Yasuhiro

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/43314
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.58.2.121
KEYWORDS : acid phosphatase;goats;parotid gland;ultrastructure


The structural characteristics of the parotid glands in small ruminants (goat, sheep) were observed and compared to those of a major laboratory animal, the mouse. Their parotid glands consist of the purely serous type. Ultrastructurally, the serous acini of goats and sheep were characterized by the presence of well-developed basolateral expansions of folds, which are characteristics of electrolyte- and water-transporting epithelium. Moreover in ruminants, unlike the mouse, the presence of numerous intercellular canaliculi as well as microvilli projecting into both the intercellular canaliculi and the lumina of the serous acini provided a large surface area for osmotic equilibrium and isotonic saliva secretion. Most of the secretory granules in goats and sheep contained peripherally located inclusions that showed dense reaction products for acid phosphatase. This indicates that most of the secretory granules undergo lysosomal degradation rather than secretion. An apocrine mode of secretion of some secretory granules was occasionally observed in some acini of goats and sheep but only exocytotic features were observed in mice. In the goat, the serous acini showed three morphologically different types, which might be an indication of different activity phases. Furthermore, alpha-smooth muscle actin-, and vimentin-positive myoepithelial cells were observed only around the serous acini and the intercalated ducts. From these findings, we consider that the structural characteristics of ruminant parotid glands might reflect their physiological role in the copious isotonic saliva secretion with a low protein concentration.