Magainin-like immunoreactivity in human submandibular and labial salivary glands

A. Wolff, J. E. Moreira, Charles L Bevins, A. R. Hand, P. C. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Magainins, antimicrobial peptides secreted by granular glands of frog skin, may be related to the high resistance to infections of this epithelial surface. The oral mucosa of healthy individuals is another tissue in which infection is not frequent, probably owing to the activity of potent salivary and mucosal defense mechanisms. To investigate if magainin-like factors are a component of these oral defense mechanisms, human and animal minor (mucosal) and major salivary glands were examined by immunohistochemistry, using a polyclonal rabbit anti-magainin antibody. Cryostat sections of (para) formaldehyde-fixed tissues were incubated with the antibody and then stained with fluorescein-complexed anti-rabbit IgG. Specific staining was observed in the apical portion of the cytoplasm of ductal epithelial cells of human submandibular and labial salivary glands. Diffuse staining was present in submandibular acinar cells. Bovine, rat, hamster, and mouse tissues were unreactive. The presence of magainin-like substances in human salivary gland duct cells is consistent with reports of the occurrence of other biologically active substances in salivary gland ducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1534
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Human submandibular gland
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Magainin
  • Minor salivary glands
  • Salivary gland duct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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