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Keywords:

  • salivary glands;
  • mesenchymal stem cell;
  • tissue engineering;
  • CD44 and CD166;
  • regenerative medicine

Oral Diseases (2012) 18, 162–168

Objective:  Experimental approaches tested to date for functional restoration of salivary glands (SGs) are tissue engineering, gene transfer, and cell therapy. To further develop these therapies, identifying specific cell surface markers for the isolation of salivary acinar cells is needed. To test a panel of cell surface markers [used in the isolation of mesenchymal stem cells, (MSCs)] for the localization of salivary acinar cells.

Materials:  Human submandibular and parotid glands were immunostained with a panel of MSC markers and co-localized with salivary acinar cell differentiation markers [α-amylase, Na-K-2Cl cotransporter-1, aquaporin-5 (AQP5)]. Additional cell markers were also used, such as α-smooth muscle actin (to identify myoepithelial cells), cytokeratin-5 (basal ductal cells), and c-Kit (progenitor cells).

Results:  CD44 identified serous acini, while CD166 identified mucous acini. Cytokeratin-5 identified basal duct cells and 50% of myoepithelial cells. None of the remaining cell surface markers (Stro-1, CD90, CD106, CD105, CD146, CD19, CD45, and c-Kit) were expressed in any human salivary cell.

Conclusions:  CD44 and CD166 localized human salivary serous and mucous acinar cells, respectively. These two cell surface markers will be useful in the isolation of specific populations of salivary acinar cells.