Effect of chronic alcoholism on morphology and cell proliferation in salivary glands of Wistar rats





Salivary gland; Alcoholism; Parotid gland; Sublingual gland; Submandibular gland.


Several disorders which affect the oral cavity, salivary composition and, flow have been described in alcoholics chronic, thus this study aimed to evaluate the effects of chronic alcoholism on the salivary glands of Wistar rats. It was used 18 animals randomly subdivided into two groups: control (C) and treated with ethanol (T). C group (n=9) received water ad libitum and T group (n=9) received alcoholic solution ad libitum: 5% ethanol (1st week), 10% ethanol (2nd week) and 20% ethanol (for 9 weeks). After the treatment period, the animals were anesthetized and euthanized by decapitation. The parotid, submandibular and sublingual salivary glands of both groups were dissected, fixed and processed for paraffin. Histological sections were stained with hematoxylin/eosin and Picro-Sirius red stained, and the rate of cell proliferation was determined by immunohistochemistry with the marker KI-67. The salivary glands of group C showed preserved parenchyma, while the parotid and submandibular glands of group T showed hydropic degeneration, atypical nuclei, non-evident nucleolus and condensed chromatin in serous acini. The intercalated, striated and excretory ducts were seen with punctual areas of degeneration and nuclear atypia. In the submandibular glands there was a 73% increase in proliferative cells in T, when compared to C (p<0.05). However, in the parotid glands, there was no significant difference in the rate of cell proliferation. The results suggest that there is an increase in the rate of cell proliferation in submandibular glands of Wistar rats subjected to chronic alcohol consumption, and also show that chronic alcohol consumption promotes morphological changes in the salivary glands of these rats, causing a deleterious effect on cellular structures.


Abelson, D. C., Mandel, I. D. & Karmiol, M. (1976). Salivary studies in alcoholic cirrhosis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol, 41(2), 188-92.

Banderas, J. A., Gaitan, L. A., Portilla, J. & Aguirre, A. (1992). Effects of chronic ethanol consumption on the rat parotid gland. Arch Oral Biol, 37(1), 69-72.

Carda, C., Gomez de Ferraris, M. E., Arriaga, A., Carranza, M. & Peydró, A. (2004). Alcoholic parotid sialosis: a structural and ultrastructural study. Med Oral, 9(1), 24-32.

Carranza, M., Ferraris, M. E. & Galizzi, M. (2005). Structural and morphometrical study in glandular parenchyma from alcoholic sialosis. J Oral Pathol Med, 34(6), 374-9.

Carrard, V. C., Filho, M. S., Rados, P. V., Chaves, A. C. & Lauxen, I. S. (2004). Quantification of silver-staining nucleolar organizer region in epithelial cells of tongue of mice after exposure to, or intake of, alcohol. Alcohol, 34(2-3), 233-8.

Carvalho, T. L. L., Zucoloto, S., Rossi, M. A., Sala, M. A. & Lopes, R. A. (1993). Estudo estereológico das alteraçöes determinadas pelo etanol nas glândulas salivares submandibular e parótida do rato / Stereological study of the alterations induced by ethanol on rat submandibular and parotid salivary glands. Rev. odontol. Univ. São Paulo, 7(3), 219-25.

Chang, J. S., Straif, K. & Guha, N. (2012). The role of alcohol dehydrogenase genes in head and neck cancers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of ADH1B and ADH1C. Mutagenesis, 27(3), 275-86.

Chibly AM, Aure MH, Patel VN & Hoffman MP. ( 2022 ) . Salivary Gland Function, Development and Regeneration. Physiol Rev. Online ahead of print.

doi: 10.1152/physrev.00015.2021.

Cotroneo, E., Proctor, G. B., Paterson, K. L. & Carpenter, G. H. (2008). Early markers of regeneration following ductal ligation in rat submandibular gland. Cell Tissue Res, 332(2), 227-35.

Donath, K. & Seifert, G. (1975). Ultrastructural studies of the parotid glands in sialadenosis. Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat Histol, 365(2), 119-35.

Dürr, H. K., Bode, J. C., Gieseking, R., Haase, H., von Arnim, I. & Beckmann, B. (1975). Anderungen der exokrinen Funktion der Glandula parotis und des Pankreas bei Patienten mit Leberzirrhose und chronischem Alkoholismus [Changes in the exocrine function of the parotid gland and pancreas in patients with liver cirrhosis and chronic alcoholism]. Verh Dtsch Ges Inn Med, 81, 1322-4.

Fernandes, L. M., Teixeira, F. B., Alves-Junior, S. M., Pinheiro, J. J, Maia, C. S. & Lima, R. R. (2015). Immunohistochemical changes and atrophy after chronic ethanol intoxication in rat salivary glands. Histol Histopathol, 30(9), 1069-78.

Ferraris, G., Elsa, M., Carranza, M., Ferraris, R. & Fili, T. (1992). Variaciones estructural en glándulas salivales de alcohólicos crónicos. Rev Fac Odont UNC Córdoba, 19/20(1/2), 59-68.

Ferraris, M. E., Arriaga, A., Busso, C. & Carranza, M. (1999). Histological study of parotid, submaxillary and von Ebner salivary glands in chronic alcoholics. Acta Odontol Latinoam, 12(2), 97-102.

Ferreira, R. O., Aragão, W. A. B., Bittencourt, L. O., Fernandes, L. P. M., Balbinot, K. M., Alves-Junior. S. M., Pinheiro, J. J. V., Maia, C. D. S. F., Crespo-Lopez, M. E. & Lima, R. R. (2021). Ethanol binge drinking during pregnancy and its effects on salivary glands of offspring rats: oxidative stress, morphometric changes and salivary function impairments. Biomed Pharmacother, 133, 110979.

Rodrigo Gomez, J. M. (1973). La hipertrofia parotídea en la cirrosis hepática. Rev Esp Enf Ap Digest, XLI, 751-70.

Gorlin, R. & Goldman, H. (1973). Patologia Oral de Thoma. Salvat. S. A. Editores, Barcelona, 1085-99.

Guo, T., Oswald, L. M., Mendu, D. R. & Soldin, S. J. (2007). Determination of levetiracetam in human plasma/serum/saliva by liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Clin Chim Acta, 375(1-2), 115-8.

Gupta, S. & Sodhani, P. (1998). Sialadenosis of parotid gland: a cytomorphologic and morphometric study of four cases. Anal Quant Cytol Histol, 20(3), 225-8.

Homann, N., Jousimies-Somer, H., Jokelainen, K., Heine, R. & Salaspuro, M. (1997). High acetaldehyde levels in saliva after ethanol consumption: methodological aspects and pathogenetic implications. Carcinogenesis, 18(9), 1739-43.

Katchburian, E. & Arana, V. (2012). Histologia e Embriologia Oral: Texto, atlas, correlações clínicas. 3 edição. Rio de Janeiro.

Kim, D., Uy, C. & Mandel, L. (1998). Sialosis of unknown origin. N Y State Dent J., 64(7), 38-40.

Maito, F. L., Rados, P. V., Filho, M. S., Barbachan, J. J. & Quadros, O. (2003). Proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression on tongue of mice after intake of, or topical exposure to, alcohol. Alcohol, 31(1-2), 25-30.

Mandel, L. & Baurmash, H. (1971). Parotid enlargement due to alcoholism. J Am Dent Assoc, 82(2), 369-73.

Mandel, L. & Hamele-Bena, D. (1997). Alcoholic parotid sialadenosis. J Am Dent Assoc, 128(10), 1411-5.

Nanci, A. (2013). Ten Cate´s Oral Histology: Development, Struture, and Function. 8th edition. Elsevier.

Nör, F., Hartmann, M. D., Slongo, P. R., Lamers, R. L. & Fossati, A. C. (2013). Chronic alcohol consumption promotes alterations on salivary gland regeneration process. Microsc Res Tech, 76(11), 1125-30.

Ogden, G. R. & Wight, A. J. (1998). Aetiology of oral cancer: alcohol. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 36(4), 247-51.

Pereira, A. S. et al. (2018). Metodologia da pesquisa cientifica. [free e-book]. Santa Maria: UAB/NTE/UFSM. https://repositorio.ufsm.br/bitstream/handle/1/15824/Lic_Computacao_Metodologia-Pesquisa-Cientifica.pdf?sequence=1.

Riedel, F., Goessler, U. & Hörmann, K. (2003). Alcohol-related diseases of the mouth and throat. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol, 17(4), 543-55.

Saito I. (2021)Pathology of salivary gland dysfunction and restoration of function. Pathol Int, 71(5):304-315.

Scott, J. (1977). Quantitative age changes in the histological structure of human submandibular salivary glands. Arch Oral Biol, 22(3), 221-7.

Scott, J., Burns, J. & Flower, E. A. (1988). Histological analysis of parotid and submandibular glands in chronic alcohol abuse: a necropsy study. J Clin Pathol, 41(8), 837-40.

Scott, J., Flower, E.A. & Burns, J. (1987). A quantitative study of histological changes in the human parotid gland occurring with adult age. J Oral Pathol, 16(10), 505-10.

Smith, P. F. & Esguep, A. S. (1995). Estudio histopatológico de glândulas salivares menores en alcohólicos. Rev Med Chil, 123, 137-93.

Szabo, G., Mandrekar, P., Oakm S. & Mayerle, J. (2007). Effect of ethanol on inflammatory responses: Implications for pancreatitis. Pancreatology, 7(2-3),115-23.

Tirapelli, C. R., Leone, A. F., Yogi, A., Tostes, R. C., Lanchote, V.L., Uyemura, S.A., Resstel, L. B., Corrêa, F. M., Padovan, C. M., de Oliveira, A. M. & Coelho, E. B. (2008). Ethanol consumption increases blood pressure and alters the responsiveness of the mesenteric vasculature in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol, 60(3), 331-41.

Vicary, K., Baxter, P. & Scott, J. (1988). Parotid function in chronic alcoholism without overt liver disease. J. Dent Res, 67.

Waszkiewicz, N., Chojnowska, S., Zalewska, A., Zwierz, K., Szulc, A. & Szajda, S. D. (2013). Salivary hexosaminidase in smoking alcoholics with bad periodontal and dental states. Drug Alcohol Depend, 129(1-2), 33-40.




How to Cite

PINHEIRO, N. M. .; SPINA, A. M. B. .; SILVA, B. R. O. .; HISS, L. S. .; SILVEIRA, I. C.; MARSON, J. M.; CARNEIRO, A. C. D. M. .; ROSA, R. C. .; MICHELETTI, A. M. R. .; CARDOSO, F. A. G.; CREMA, V. O. Effect of chronic alcoholism on morphology and cell proliferation in salivary glands of Wistar rats. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 7, p. e13211729619, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i7.29619. Disponível em: https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/view/29619. Acesso em: 6 jul. 2022.



Health Sciences