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In this article the locations and histologic and ultrastructural features of all of the minor salivary glands of the rat are presented; similarities and differences among them are highlighted. These glands are almost as diverse morphologically as the major salivary glands of the rat. The acini of von Ebner's glands are serous; those of the anterior and posterior buccal glands and minor sublingual glands are mucous; and those of the glossopalatal, palatal, and Weber's glands are mucous with serous demilunes. The anterior buccal, minor sublingual and von Ebner's glands have striated and stratified columnar ducts, while only the minor sublingual and von Ebner's glands have intercalated ducts. The glossopalatal, palatal, posterior buccal and Weber's glands have none of these ducts; the tubulo-acini drain abruptly into short terminal ducts composed of stratified squamous epithelium. All of the mucous acini react with an antibody to a mucin (Muc19) of the rat major sublingual gland, but in some of the glands the reaction varies in intensity among the acinar cells. Ultrastructurally, the mucous secretory granules of the anterior buccal, glossopalatal, palatal and Weber's glands are biphasic, while those of the minor sublingual and posterior buccal glands are monophasic. Although there is a considerable body of literature concerning the development, innervation, physiology and proteomics of von Ebner's glands, investigation of the other minor salivary glands of the rat ranges from modest to nearly nonexistent.
Oral Pathology Research Laboratory (151-I), Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center , 50 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biotechnic & histochemistry : official publication of the Biological Stain Commission
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