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Arch Oral Biol. 2003 Feb;48(2):101-9.

Glycogen content and activities of enzymes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism of the salivary glands of rats during postnatal development.

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Oral Biology Research Center, Faculty of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2227, Brazil.


Carbohydrate metabolism was examined in the developing rat salivary glands by analysing enzymatic activity and glycogen content in the postnatal parotid and submandibular glands. The following enzymes of the carbohydrate metabolism, hexokinase (HK), phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), pyruvate kinase (PK), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) as well as the content of glycogen were determined in the salivary glands of rats aged 2, 7, 14, 21, 30 and 60 days. The specific activity of HK increased from days 2 to 21 and then it decreased up to 60 days old. The values found for the submandibular glands were from 2.5 to 4.9 times higher than those found for the parotid gland, except for rats aged 60 days. PFK-1 showed a different pattern of variation between the glands. In the submandibular gland there was a statistically significant increase in PFK-1 specific activity from 2 to 30 days of age and then, in the 60 days old group a return to level of the rats aged 2 days. In parotid gland, the specific activity of PFK-1 decreased between 2 and 7 days of age, from 7 to 14 days the specific activity increased markedly and from 14 to 60 days old it gradually decreased. The specific activity of PK followed the same pattern of variation in the submandibular and parotid glands, showing no great variation. The specific activity of LDH decreased from 2 to 60 days old in the submandibular glands. In the parotid glands the mean values for this enzyme were higher for the 2 days old group, and then decreased to remained more or less constant. The potential capacity of the pentose phosphate pathway was greater than that of glycolysis at early ages. The glycogen content showed similar variation in both glands. It was initially high and then decreased. In conclusion, our results on the activities of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism in submandibular and parotid glands may be relevant to the initiation of saliva secretion in these animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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