Polarized distribution of key membrane transport proteins in the rat submandibular gland

Pflugers Arch. 1997 Jan;433(3):260-8. doi: 10.1007/s004240050276.


Immunofluorescence labelling and confocal microscopy were employed to examine the polarized distribution of several membrane transport proteins believed to be essential for salivary secretion in the rat submandibular gland. The Na+/K+-ATPase, Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 (NHE1), and the secretory Na+/K+/2Cl- cotransporter isoform were all found in the basolateral membranes of acinar and intralobular duct cells. Anion exchanger isoform 2 (AE2) was found only in the basolateral membranes of acinar cells, while AE1 was absent from glandular epithelial cells. Aquaporin 5 was detected in the apical membranes of acinar cells, while the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator was found only in apical membranes of intralobular duct cells. NHEs 2 and 3 were found in the apical membranes of both acinar and intralobular duct cells. Our results are generally consistent with the expected distribution of most transporters based on previous physiological and pharmacological experiments. However, the apical localization of NHEs 2 and 3, and the presence of the secretory isoform of the Na+/K+/2Cl- cotransporter in intralobular duct cells were not predicted.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*
  • Submandibular Gland / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase