Ultrastructure of the cat sublingual gland.

Research paper by B B Tandler, J H JH Poulsen

Indexed on: 01 Feb '77Published on: 01 Feb '77Published in: The Anatomical record


The sublingual gland of the cat consists primarily of branched secretory tubules that open into an abbreviated duct system. The simple epithelium that composes the secretory tubules consists of an admixture of mucous and serous cells, with the former predominating. Some secretory tubules are capped by a serous demilune. Regardless of position, almost all serous cells have prominent basal folds and border on at least one intercellular canaliculus as well as on the tubule lumen. Serous cells possess an extensive array of irregular, distended cisternae of rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum that frequently contain dense intracisternal granules. Serous granules are relatively few in number and rarely show evidence of substructure. Mucous cells, which lack basal folds, contain an apical mass of secretory material in the form of partially fused droplets. The duct system is somewhat less ordered than in most major salivary glands; secretory tubules empty into structures resembling intercalated ducts or may be in direct continuity with ducts intermediate in morphology between intercalated and excretory ducts. The absence of striated ducts noted in this study may be correlated with the high sodium content of cat sublingual saliva. The main excretory duct of the sublingual gland closely resembles that of the cat submandibular gland in terms of morphology, but exhibits little of the transport functions reported in the latter duct.