Postnatal growth of the rat palatine gland

S. Nakamura, S. Takahashi, M. Wakita, M. Morita

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7 Citations (Scopus)


To elucidate how the palatine glands grow postnatally, the palatine glands of rats from 0 to 8 weeks of age were investigated histologically and immunohistochemically. Under light microscope, three dimensions of the right part of the palatine glands were measured and the total number of excretory ducts of the glands was counted from the parasagittal serial sections. Immunohistochemistry with anti-5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) monoclonal antibody was also employed to detect the cellular proliferative activity. At birth (0 weeks), the palatine glands consisted of ducts and immature acini. The ducts in the glands were connected with excretory ducts. After 2 weeks, there was no duct in the glands. Most acinar cells became mature as mucous cells and took the form of tubulo-acini connected directly with excretory ducts. In the posterior region of the glands, serous acinar cells forming demilunes were occasionally seen. All three dimensions of the palatine glands became longer, and the number of excretory ducts tended to increase. Immunohistochemistry showed acinar and duct cells were highly proliferative in early stage of postnatal life and their proliferative activity decreased thereafter. This study demonstrated that immature rat palatine glands of newborn rats grow three-dimensionally during maturation, and that the parenchymal cell proliferation contributes to the growth of the rat palatine glands. In addition, it is suggested that the glandular tissue arises from the excretory ducts formed postnatally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-620
Number of pages7
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell proliferation
  • Excretory duct
  • Palatine gland
  • Postnatal growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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