Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
The influence of the submandibular salivary gland on the male sex accessory glands of the rat namely, the preputial and bulbourethral or Cowper's was determined by examining the effect of total surgical removal of the submandibular salivary gland (total submandibular sialoadenectomy) on these glands' histologic features and bulbourethral's secretion. One hundred eighty sexually mature female Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. Rats were divided into three experimental groups namely: intact, sham-operated and sialoadenectomized with 20 rats/animal group/experiment. They were utilized for histological observation, measurement of the total volume of bulbourethral secretion, and measurement of fructose content of the bulbourethral secretion. The preputial and bulbourethral glands from the three animal groups were collected, processed and stained with H & E and Masson's trichrome to observe their morphologic characteristics. The total volume and fructose content of the bulbourethral secretion were significantly reduced (P<0.05) following total submandibular sialoadenectomy compared with the intact and Sham-operated groups. Histologically, the preputial gland of sialoadenectomized rats presented more non-secretory units composed of mucous cells compared with the intact and sham-operated groups. On the other hand, the histological features of the bulbourethral glands were similar among the three groups of rats. These results suggest that the submandibular salivary gland, the major source of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in rodents, is involved in the maintenance of the normal morphology of the preputial gland and affects the secretory function of the bulbourethral gland, which are vital for copulation and fertilizing capability of the spermatozoa, respectively.