X-ray microanalysis of freeze-dried labial gland cryosections revealed that Na concentration was doubled and the Ca/S concentration ratio was decreased in secretory granules of labial glands from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) when compared with glands from normal subjects. Other results suggested that the decrease in the Ca/S concentration ratio resulted from an increase in S concentration. These findings imply that mucous granules in labial saliva showed a CF-related increase in Na and S content, and such changes would be expected to affect the rheology of the mucus after exocytosis. In contrast with a previous study in human parotid glands, no evidence was found for CF-related changes in cytoplasmic or nuclear Na, K, and Ca concentrations. Significant elemental differences were found between secretory granules and nuclei and cytoplasm of control cells.
K Izutsu, D Johnson, M Schubert, E Wang, B Ramsey, A Tamarin, E Truelove, W Ensign, M Young