Expression and localization of immunoreactive-sialomucin complex (Muc4) in salivary glands

P. Li,, M. E. Arango,, R. E. Perez,, C. A. Reis,, E. L. Bonfante,, D. Weed,, K. L. Carraway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sialomucin Complex (SMC; Muc4) is a heterodimeric glycoprotein consisting of two subunits, the mucin component ASGP-1 and the transmembrane subunit ASGP-2. Northern blot and immunoblot analyses demonstrated the presence of SMC/Muc4 in submaxillary, sublingual and parotid salivary glands of the rat. Immunocytochemical staining of SMC using monoclonal antisera raised against ASGP-2 and glycosylated ASGP-1 on paraffin-embedded sections of parotid, submaxillary and sublingual tissues was performed to examine the localization of the mucin in the major rat salivary glands. Histological and immunocytochemical staining of cell markers showed that the salivary glands consisted of varying numbers of serous and mucous acini which are drained by ducts. Parotid glands were composed almost entirely of serous acini, sublingual glands were mainly mucous in composition and a mixture of serous and mucous acini were present in submaxillary glands. Since immunoreactive (ir)-SMC was specifically localized to the serous cells, staining was most abundant in parotid glands, intermediate levels in submaxillary glands and least in sublingual glands. Ir-SMC in sublingual glands was localized to caps of cells around mucous acini, known as serous demilunes, which are also present in submaxillary glands. Immunocytochemical staining of SMC in human parotid glands was localized to epithelial cells of serous acini and ducts. However, the staining pattern of epithelial cells was heterogeneous, with ir-SMC present in some acinar and ductal epithelial cells but not in others. This report provides a map of normal ir-SMC/Muc4 distribution in parotid, submaxillary and sublingual glands which can be used for the study of SMC/Muc4 expression in salivary gland tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Mucin
  • Parotid
  • Salivary gland
  • Serous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Cell Biology


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