2019 Volume 61 Issue 3 Pages 475-480
Salivary gland atrophy and consequent hyposalivation are serious problems in clinical dentistry, as saliva regulates the environment of the oral cavity. To clarify the mechanisms underlying salivary gland dysfunction, a system for primary culture of parotid acinar cells has been established. It has been reported previously that the process of cell isolation from parotid glands triggers stress signaling mediated by Src and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (p38), leading to dedifferentiation of acinar cells, and that an nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitor suppresses this activation of Src and p38, suggesting that reactive oxygen species initiate the dedifferentiation signal. The present study examined the effect of a free radical scavenger, 3-methyl-1-phenyl-2-pyrazolin-5-one (also termed MCI-186 or edaravone), on activation of the stress signal and the secretory function of parotid acinar cells. Activation of p38 during cell isolation was suppressed by addition of MCI-186. The retention of the activity of amylase, a major salivary protein, and the number of amylase-containing secretory granules were improved by isolation and culture in the presence of MCI-186. In addition, calcium elevation upon stimulation with a muscarinic agonist was higher in MCI-186-treated cells than in untreated cells. These results suggest that MCI-186 (edaravone) is a promising agent for prevention of salivary gland dysfunction.