The Effect of Chronic Ethanol Consumption on Salivary Gland Morphology and Function in the Rat

Authors

  • H. Maier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Giefien. GieQen, Federal Republic of Germany and the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Pathology and from the Alcohol Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.
      2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology. University of Giefien, Feulgenstrasse 10, D-64 Giefien, FRG.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • I. A. Bom,

    1. Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Giefien. GieQen, Federal Republic of Germany and the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Pathology and from the Alcohol Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. Veith,

    1. Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Giefien. GieQen, Federal Republic of Germany and the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Pathology and from the Alcohol Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. Adler,

    1. Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Giefien. GieQen, Federal Republic of Germany and the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Pathology and from the Alcohol Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. K. Seitz

    1. Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Giefien. GieQen, Federal Republic of Germany and the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Pathology and from the Alcohol Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Supported by a grant of the Gesellschaft Rauchen und Gesundheit.

  • Copyright © 1986 by The American Medical Society on Alcoholism and The Research Society on Alcoholism.

2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology. University of Giefien, Feulgenstrasse 10, D-64 Giefien, FRG.

Abstract

Chronic ethanol consumption in rats resulted in a striking fat accumulation in the acinar cells of the parotid gland demonstrated by light microscopy. In addition, a significant decrease in parotid wet weight (p > 0.02) and in protein content of the gland (p > 0.02) was observed following alcohol feeding. Wet weight, protein content, and morphology of the submaxillar gland were not affected by ethanol feeding. Alcohol metabolism, similar to that found in the pancreas, via a cytosolic alcohol dehydrogenase could be demonstrated in both the parotid and the submaxillar gland. However, the activity of this enzyme was not affected by chronic ethanol ingestion. Subsequently, chronic ethanol consumption significantly decreased salivary flow rate stimulated by pilocarpine hydrochloride (p > 0.02), salivary a-amylase activity (p > 0.02), and salivary sodium concentration (p > 0.01), whereas potassium concentration of the saliva was increased (p > 0.05). In contrast salivary total protein concentration was not affected by alcohol ingestion. The changes of salivary electrolyte composition observed after chronic ethanol feeding could be due to an altered aldosterone metabolism or to a change in aldosterone receptors of the parotid gland caused by ethanol administration. The reduced salivary flow could play a role in the pathogenesis of oropharyngeal cancer in the alcoholic.

Ancillary