Calcium redistribution, calcification and stone formation in the parotid gland during experimental stimulation and hypercalcaemia. Cytochemical and X-ray microanalytical investigations

Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat Histopathol. 1984;402(4):425-38. doi: 10.1007/BF00734639.


Distribution and redistribution of intra- and pericellular calcium was investigated in the parotid gland of rats under secretory stimulation and hypercalcaemia. The effects of hypercalcaemia and secretory stimulation and of the combination of both were compared. Calcium content was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Calcium distribution within the tissue was demonstrated by light microscopical ( GBHA ) staining and electron microscopical (pyroantimonate method) cytochemistry in combination with X-ray microanalysis. Typical calcium depot sites were the basal and cellular membranes, the calcium buffer organelles (i.e. mitochondria) the secretory granules and the acinar lumina. After stimulation (by isoprenalin ) a decrease of calcium-enriched secretory granules and a depletion of intracellular calcium buffer organelles occurred. During hypercalcaemia (induced by dihydrotachysterol), a calcium overloading of the cell membrane and intracellular buffer organelles without calcification was observed. Combined stimulation and hypercalcaemia induced an excessive calcium overloading of all intra- and extracellular calcium depots with excessive calcium release into the acinar lumina resulting in calcium phosphate aggregates and stone formation. Secretory stimulation and simultaneous hypercalcaemia exert potentiating effects on intracellular and intraluminal calcification proposing an importance for pathogenesis of human sialolithiasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcinosis / metabolism*
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Hypercalcemia / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Parotid Diseases / metabolism*
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism
  • Parotid Gland / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Salivary Duct Calculi / metabolism


  • Calcium