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Saliva is secreted from the acinar cells of the salivary glands, using mechanisms that are similar to other types of water-transporting epithelial cells. Using a combination of theoretical and experimental techniques, over the past 20 years we have continually developed and modified a quantitative model of saliva secretion, and how it is controlled by the dynamics of intracellular calcium. However, over approximately the past 5 years there have been significant developments both in our understanding of the underlying mechanisms and in the way these mechanisms should best be modelled. Here, we review the traditional understanding of how saliva is secreted, and describe how our work has suggested important modifications to this traditional view. We end with a brief description of the most recent data from living animals and discuss how this is now contributing to yet another iteration of model construction and experimental investigation.


James Sneyd, Elias Vera-Sigüenza, John Rugis, Nathan Pages, David I Yule. Calcium Dynamics and Water Transport in Salivary Acinar Cells. Bulletin of mathematical biology. 2021 Feb 17;83(4):31

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PMID: 33594615

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