Hilla University College Journal For Medical Science

Document Type

Original Study


Rabbit, Dexamethasone, Submandibular salivary gland


Background: Dexamethasone is a synthetic long acting and potential glucocorticoids. Dexamethasone has a wide spectrum clinical application. It is used in diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome .It is also used for treatment of many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, e.g. rheumatoid arithritis.It is also given to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplantation, and asthma treatment. In dentistry it is used before and\ after some form of dental surgery.

Objective: Because salivary glands are tissues sensitive to hormones, this work was planned to study the effect of dexamethasone on the submandibular salivary gland.

Materials and methods: Twenty six male rabbit were chosen to conduct the experiment. The rabbits were divided into control group ( 6 rabbits) which were injected(I.P) with normal saline; and treated group. The treated group was divided into two subgroups .The first one received a daily therapeutic dose (o.6 mg\kg) of dexamethasone injection for two weeks (subgroup 1(10 rabbits) .The second subgroup had received an overdose (1.2mg/kg) from the same drug. The submandibular salivary glands of the rabbits were collected and fixed in neutral buffered formalin to be processed for the different histological routine techniques in order to be stained with H&E; Gomori’s one step trichrome; PAS, and PAS\Alcian blue (pH 2.5) combination. For statistical analysis the mean and standard deviation (SD) have been adopted for the diameter of the secretory units of the glands.

Results : The results have revealed swelling and an increase in diameter in the mucous acini of the secretory units. Other prominent changes were the atrophy and disruption of granular nature of the serous tubules .With PAS stains, the reaction was restricted to the serous tubules of the secretory units. The Alcian blue staining was restricted to mucous acini only.

Conclusion : The observations of the present study have revealed significant salivary changes in rabbits received dexamethasone even for short period of time.

The consequences will be undesirable effect on teeth and oral cavity health due to decrease in serous secretion coming from one of the major salivary glands.