The effect of food consistency and dehydration on reflex parotid and submandibular salivary secretion in conscious rats

Arch Oral Biol. 2001 Apr;46(4):353-63. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9969(00)00124-2.


Changes in salivary secretion with different consistency of diet and dehydration were studied in male Wistar rats under unrestricted conditions. To measure the salivary secretion, a stop-flow method was used. There was little unstimulated salivary secretion from the parotid and submandibular glands, but eating solid, powdered, and liquid diets induced parotid and submandibular saliva. There was no significant change in the volume and flow rate of saliva in bilateral parotid glands during the eating of solid diets. The solid and powdered diets induced significantly more salivary secretion from the parotid gland than did the liquid. The salivary flow rate with solid diets was significantly greater from the parotid gland than from the submandibular. On the other hand, the salivary flow rate with the liquid diet was significantly smaller from the parotid gland than from the submandibular. Appreciable amounts of submandibular saliva, but little parotid saliva were secreted during grooming. Clearly, parotid and submandibular saliva have different roles in the rat. When injected intraperitoneally with 1.5 M NaCl solution or water-deprived for 24 h, rats took longer to eat the solid diets, and had increased salivary volume and decreased flow rate from the parotid gland. These results indicate that the moisture content of the diet and the dryness of the mouth alters the volume of parotid saliva secreted in rats and show that parotid saliva plays an important part in mastication and swallowing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Food*
  • Male
  • Mastication / physiology
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism*
  • Particle Size
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Secretory Rate
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Submandibular Gland / metabolism*
  • Water Deprivation / physiology
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology