Secretory proteins as markers for cellular phenotypes in rat salivary glands

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The neonatal submandibular glands (SMG) of the rat contain two types of cells: Type III cells secrete a group of proteins in response to β-adrenergic stimulation, and Type I cells secrete a different protein, called Protein C (89 kDa), in response to cholinergic stimuli (Ball and Redman, 1984). Polyclonal antibodies raised to Protein B1 (26 kDa) showed that the several proteins in the B1-Immunoreactive Protein (B1-IP) group are localized exclusively to Type III cells. Although we expected that antibodies to Protein B1 would label only the submandibular gland, we found instead that the serous demilunes of the sublingual gland (SLG) and the acinar cells and intercalated ducts of the parotid gland (PRG) were strongly reactive in both the neonate and the adult. Immunoelectrophoretic analysis of gland extracts showed the major reactive species in the sublingual gland to have different mobilities than the B1-IP. On the other hand, reactive species in the parotid gland had mobilities identical to those of two SMG proteins. In the adult SMG, the neonatal Type I and Type III cells are not present, and the acinar cells are devoid of B1-IP reactivity; however, the cells of the intercalated ducts have components reactive with anti-B1 antibodies, and these do not appear to be identical to any neonatal bands. In contrast to the submandibular gland, the adult parotid and sublingual glands retain the localization of B1-IP reactivity in PRG acinar and intercalated duct cells and in SLG demilunes, and they show the neonatal immunoelectrophoretic pattern. This raises the possibility that the major B1-IP species in the adult PRG may be identical to transient proteins of the neonatal SMG. © 1988.

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