Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
The influence of the submandibular salivary glands on pregnancy and parturition was determined by examining the effect of total submandibular sialoadenectomy on the pregnancy rate, abortion rate and parturition parameters such as duration of pup expulsion, duration of placental expulsion, duration of expulsion between pups and the total duration of parturition in Sprague-Dawley rats. Sixty sexually mature female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: intact, sham-operated and sialoadenectomized. Sixty days post-removal of the submandibular salivary glands, all the female rats were mated with sexually mature male rats of the same strain. The sialoadenectomized females had a significantly lower pregnancy rate compared with the intact and sham-operated females. Occurrence of abortion was also observed in sialoadenectomized females but not in intact and sham-operated females. Parturition was also significantly delayed in sialoadenectomized females as reflected in the longer duration of expulsion of pups and placenta, time interval between expulsion of pups and total duration of parturition compared with the intact and sham-operated females. Based on our results, the submandibular salivary glands are involved in maintenance of pregnancy and facilitates parturition.