The effect of L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway on salivary amylase secretion in conscious rats

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In a recent study we have demonstrated the presence of nitric oxide synthase immunoreactive neurons and also perivascular periacinar and periductal nerve fibres in feline submandibular salivary gland. The role of nitric oxide (NO) in salivary vasoregulation has been suggested by other data too, but the effect of NO on salivary amylase secretion has not been investigated yet. Under ether anesthesia a catheter was introduced into the oesophagus for salivary juice collections, and a cannula was inserted into the jugular vein for infusions. After postanaesthesia recovery, submaximal carbachol infusion was given as a background to obtain steady secretion because of the low basal secretory rate. Then different groups of animals received NO synthase inhibitor NOLA (N(G)-nitro L-arginine), L-arginine, D-arginine or NO donor SIN-1 (3-morpholinosydnonimine). Volume and amylase activity were determined in mixed saliva samples collected for 30 min. Carbachol background infusion alone induced an elevated, sustained salivary secretion. NOLA (30 mg/kg) increased both volume and amylase output (P < 0.001). This effect was prevented by L-arginine but not by D-arginine. SIN-1 did not change either volume or amylase secretion. The present results suggest that the L-arginine/NO pathway has a modulatory effect on salivary fluid and amylase secretion, which is probably nor related to its effect on salivary blood flow. NO may block certain presently unidentified secretagogue mechanisms and/or may relax myoepithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physiology Paris
Issue number3-5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Amylase
  • Exocrine
  • Fluid secretion
  • L-arginine
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rat
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)

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