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Transplantation of Cultured Salivary Gland Cells Into an Atrophic Salivary Gland

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Patients with dry mouth have been treated with salivary substitutes and/or medications such as pilocarpine or cevimeline hydrochloride. These treatments temporarily relieve their symptoms and induce salivation from residual tissue. However, no treatment is available for the purpose of regenerating an atrophic gland. In this study, the feasibility of a cell transplantation therapy for the atrophic submandibular glands was investigated in rats. Further, the potential of cell differentiation into a useful phenotype was assessed by immunohistochemistry together with cell tracking with the fluorescent dye PKH 26. Rat submandibular glands were excised, and the salivary gland epithelial cells were cultured for 3 weeks with 3T3 cells as a feeder layer. Ductal ligation of the submandibular gland was employed to generate an atrophic gland. One week after the operation, the ligation was removed, and the cultured cells labeled with PKH 26 were injected into the atrophic submandibular glands. As a control, the cultured cells were also injected into normal submandibular glands. Two weeks after cell transplantation, the transplanted cells were detectable in both the experimental and control groups. The cells were clustered in the connective tissue between the lobules. Four weeks after transplantation, the labeled cells were detectable in the experimental group but not in the control group. In the atrophic glands, the scattered transplanted cells were observed over a broad area of the gland but localized mainly around the acini and ductal region. Immunostaining results showed a possible involvement of the transplanted cells in ductal regeneration, while neither myoepithelial nor acinar differentiations were observed within the 4 weeks since transplantation. This study demonstrated that cell transplantation to the salivary gland is feasible, and that the transplanted cells were selectively attracted to and remained in the damaged area without affecting normal tissue.
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Keywords: Atrophic gland; Cell transplantation; Cultured salivary gland cells; Salivary gland; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8440, Japan 2: †Department of Tissue Engineering, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan 3: ‡Center for Genetic and Regenerative Medicine, Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan

Publication date: 01 January 2004

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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