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Concept: Submandibular gland


The presence of the leptin receptor (ObR) has already been highlighted in the human major salivary glands and it has been hypothesized that leptin may act by regulating the gland’s growth. No data are reported on domestic animals so, considering the important role that these glands play, not only related to food ingestion and digestion, and the important functional role hypothesized to explain the presence of ObR in humans salivary glands, the aim of the present work was to investigate the presence and the distribution of the leptin receptor in horse parotid and mandibular glands, by immunohistochemical techniques. The presence of ObR was evidenced in parotid and mandibular glands, exclusively localized in duct epithelial cells; their positivity was localized in the cytoplasm and was most evident near its apical portion. Immuno-positivity not only affects the intralobular ducts (intercalated and striated) but also the interlobular ones. Our results indicate that horse major salivary glands, like those of humans, are likely targets of leptin actions, suggesting a functional role of leptin on these glands.

Concepts: Protein, Digestive system, Epithelium, Gland, Glands, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland


Sialolithiasis is a benign pathology that occurs most frequently in the submandibular salivary gland due to its anatomic features. Depending on the size and degree of calcification, a sialolith can be visible in radiographic examinations. Patients commonly experience pain and/or edema when the ducts are obstructed. The authors report two cases of sialolithiasis of the submandibular gland after searching for the source of swelling in the submandibular region. The diagnosis was confirmed by clinical and tomographic examinations. Despite the considerable size of the sialoliths, treatment consisted of the removal of the calcified mass using an intraoral surgical approach. The prognosis is often good and there is generally no recurrence of the condition.

Concepts: Physician, Medical diagnosis, Autonomic nervous system, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland


Background Chronic sialadenitis is one of the most frequent chronic complications after radioiodine (RAI) therapy for thyroid cancer. To evaluate the long-term effects of RAI ablation on salivary gland function, we investigated scintigraphic changes in salivary glands by direct comparison of two salivary gland scintigraphies (SGS) taken before and at 5 yrs after a RAI ablation. Methods SGS was performed just before RIA (pre-SGS) and approximately 5 years after RAI ablation (F/U SGS) in 213 subjects who underwent thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer. The uptake score (US) was graded, and the ejection fraction (EF) was quantified for the parotid and submandibular glands at pre-SGS and F/U SGS. Changes in salivary gland function were graded as mild, moderate, or severe according to the differences in US and EF between the two SGS. Xerostomia were assessed and compared with the SGS findings. Results Worsening of the US was observed in 182 of 852 salivary glands (total: 21.3%; mild: 4.2%, moderate: 7.4%, severe: 9.7%), and 47.4% of the patients showed a worsening US for at least 1 of 4 salivary glands. A decrease in EF was observed in 173 of 852 salivary glands (total: 20.3%; mild: 5.4%, moderate: 6.8%, severe: 8.1%), and 43.7% of the patients experienced a decrease in the EF of at least 1 of the 4 salivary glands. Bilateral parotid gland dysfunction was the most commonly observed condition. Thirty-five (16.4%) patients complained of xerostomia at 5 years after RAI ablation. Scintigraphic changes in salivary gland function and xerostomia were more common in patients receiving 5.55 GBq, compared with 3.7 GBq. Xerostomia were more common in patients with submandibular gland dysfunction than those with parotid gland dysfunction (68.8% vs. 33.3%, P<0.05). The number of dysfunctional salivary glands was correlated with xerostomia (P<0.01). Conclusion About 20% of the salivary glands were dysfunctional on SGS at 5 years after a single RAI ablation, especially in patients who received higher doses of radioiodine. While parotid glands are more susceptible to I-131 related damage, xerostomia was more associated with submandibular gland dysfunction and the prevalence of dysfunctional salivary glands.

Concepts: Sjögren's syndrome, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland, Mumps, Serous fluid


Salivary glands, although widely considered as typically exocrine, may also release specific proteins in an endocrine manner. However, endocrine release of salivary gland proteins is not generally acknowledged since the evidences are not easily demonstrable. Submandibular salivary glands (SMG) of male Syrian hamsters express male-specific secretory proteins (MSP) visible in SDS-PAGE of SMG extracts, as major bands and also detectable in immunoblots of whole-saliva and urine as low MSP crossreactions. We report here that MSP is localized in acinar cells of SMG and acute treatment with isoproterenol (IPR; non-specific β1/β2-adrenergic agonist) results in considerable release of MSP in SMG-saliva. Moreover, acute IPR treatment markedly depletes SMG-MSP in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, MSP depleted from SMG, far exceeds that recovered in SMG-saliva. Blood, submandibular lymph nodes and kidney of IPR-treated males showed MSP crossreactions and SDS-PAGE of their urine revealed profuse MSP excretion; this was undetectable in IPR-treated-SMG-ablated males, confirming that a substantial amount of MSP depleted from SMG after IPR treatment enters circulation and is excreted in urine. Treatments with specific β1- or β2-adrenergic agonists also reduced SMG-MSP levels and resulted in copious urinary excretion of MSP. Co-treatments with specific β1/β2-blockers indicated that above effects of IPR, β1- and even β2-agonists are very likely mediated by β1-adrenoceptors. MSP’s detection by SDS-PAGE in urine after β-agonist treatment is a compelling and easily demonstrable evidence of release into circulation of a salivary gland protein. The possible means (endocrine-like or otherwise) of MSP’s release into circulation and significance of its presence in saliva, blood and urine of male hamsters are discussed.

Concepts: Blood, Secretion, Pancreas, Glands, Hamster, Salivary gland, Exocrine system, Submandibular gland


The proper ablation of any neoplasm of the head and neck requires the inclusion of linear and anatomic barrier margins surrounding the neoplasm. Extirpative surgery of the major and minor salivary glands is certainly no exception to this surgical principle. To this end, the selection and execution of the most appropriate ablative surgical procedure for a major or minor benign salivary gland neoplasm is an essential exercise in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Of equal importance is the intraoperative identification and preservation of the pseudocapsule surrounding the benign neoplasm. This article reviews these important elements specifically related to ablative surgery of benign neoplasms of the parotid, submandibular and minor salivary glands with strict attention to observed nomenclature.

Concepts: Benign tumor, Sjögren's syndrome, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Glands, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland


The most common tumour of salivary gland is pleomorphic adenoma (PA). They are benign, painless, can grow into big tumours but usually do not affect nerves or lymph nodes. PA most commonly occurs in the parotid gland but it may involve submandibular, lingual and minor salivary glands also. They can attain giant proportions and weigh several kilograms. We report a giant PA arising in the submandibular gland and treated by complete surgical excision without any complication. A female patient presented with a tumour in the submandibular region and front of neck with a history of more than 18 years. The weight of the resected mass was 4.35 kg. Patient’s fear of surgery and lack of awareness were the main reasons for her long-standing swelling. Such giant PAs of the submandibular gland are very rare in medical literature.

Concepts: Mass, Sjögren's syndrome, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland, Mumps, Serous fluid


A 43-year-old woman with a 3-year history of sleep disturbances, dry mouth, and dry eyes presented with upper-eyelid swelling that had progressed during the past several months. Physical examination revealed nontender enlargement of the lacrimal and submandibular salivary glands.

Concepts: Sjögren's syndrome, Autonomic nervous system, Tears, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland


Salivary gland hypofunction, also known as xerostomia, occurs as a result of radiation therapy for head cancer, Sjögren’s syndrome or aging, and can cause a variety of critical oral health issues, including dental decay, bacterial infection, mastication dysfunction, swallowing dysfunction and reduced quality of life. Here we demonstrate the full functional regeneration of a salivary gland that reproduces the morphogenesis induced by reciprocal epithelial and mesenchymal interactions through the orthotopic transplantation of a bioengineered salivary gland germ as a regenerative organ replacement therapy. The bioengineered germ develops into a mature gland through acinar formations with a myoepithelium and innervation. The bioengineered submandibular gland produces saliva in response to the administration of pilocarpine and gustatory stimulation by citrate, protects against oral bacterial infection and restores normal swallowing in a salivary gland-defective mouse model. This study thus provides a proof-of-concept for bioengineered salivary gland regeneration as a potential treatment of xerostomia.

Concepts: Bacteria, Saliva, Sjögren's syndrome, Dental caries, Xerostomia, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland


As the popularity and acceptance of facial and cervical rejuvenation procedures grows, surgeons are increasingly encountering patients with less favorable anatomical characteristics for rhytidectomy. These patients will typically display an obtuse cervicomental angle, underprojected chin, excess cervical adiposity, and platysmal banding, in addition to ptotic submandibular glands, tenacious jowls, and prejowl volume deficits. Recognition of these problems and the correct application of available techniques to address the difficult neck in facelifting are critical in maximizing success.

Concepts: Physician, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland


The schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma is a rare histopathological variant of the pleomorphic adenoma. Five previous reports with seven cases exist in English language literature. These tumors present in the parotid gland most commonly. Intraparotid schwannomas of the facial nerve and schwannomas with glandular differentiation have also been reported. A 60-year-old male presented with an asymptomatic swelling over the left angle of the mandible. The swelling had been present for about 12 years with a recent increase in size. CT imaging showed a hyperdense circumscribed mass of the superficial lobe of the parotid. The working diagnosis was that of a benign tumor of salivary gland or soft tissue origin. The mass was excised with careful preservation of the facial nerve. The 3.5 cm mass was submitted for histopathological examination. The well-circumscribed, encapsulated mass showed a predominant sheet-like proliferation of Antoni type A-like tissue, Foci of glandular differentiation with duct-like structures were also seen. Cytological atypia or mitotic activity were not seen. Nuclei of lesional cells diffusely and strongly expressed reactivity to p63. The final diagnosis was a schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma. No recurrence has been reported in the 15 months since the removal. Facial nerve function is unimpaired with a House Brackmann facial nerve function score of one. The potential for misdiagnosis in fine needle aspirate and incisional biopsies is real in cases of schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma. The diagnostic pitfalls include the schwannoma and leiomyoma. Schwannomas with glandular differentiation have also been reported and therefore a misdiagnosis may potentially occur in excised specimens. Careful application of immunohistochemistry may help in the differentiation of these lesions.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Cranial nerves, Needle aspiration biopsy, Parotid gland, Salivary gland, Submandibular gland, Sublingual gland