Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Letter
  • Published:

Effect of salivary glands on wound contraction in mice


ALTHOUGH there has been speculation about the healing powers of saliva, recent interest in the salivary glands has been concerned with the physiology of nerve growth factor and epidermal growth factor1–4. However, saliva also contains other biologically active substances such as kallikrein5,6, amylase7, lysozyme8, immunoglobulins9 and renin10. Lysozyme is believed to enhance healing by suppressing infection11. The wound healing process can be divided into epithelialisation, contraction, collagen synthesis and scar remodelling12: the evidence presented here suggests that contraction is affected by the salivary glands.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Pasquini, F. et al. Expl Cell Res. 86, 233–236 (1974).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Ekfors, T. O. & Hopsu-Havu, V. K. Histochem. J. 3, 415–420 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Gresik, E. & Barka, T. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 25, 1027–1035 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Van Noorden, S., Hietz, P., Kasper, M. & Pearse, A. G. E. Histochemistry 52, 329–340 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Maranda, B., Rodrigues, J. A. A., Schachter, M., Shnitka, T. K. & Weinberg, J. J. Physiol., Lond. 276, 321–328 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Brandtzaeg, P., Gautvik, K. M., Nustad, K. & Pierce, J. V. Br. J. Pharmac. 56, 155–167 (1976).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Ellison, S. A. in Handbook of Physiology Sect. 6, Vol. 2 (ed. Code, C. F.) 538–539 (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1967).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Fleming, A. Proc. R. Soc. B93, 306–317 (1922).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kraus, F. W. & Mestecky, J. Archs oral Biol. 16, 781–789 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Cozzari, C., Angeletti, P. U., Lazar, J., Orth, H. & Gross, F. Biochem. Pharmac. 22, 1321–1327 (1973).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Burgen, A. S. V. & Emmelin, N. G. Monogr. physiol. Soc. No. 8, 258 (Arnold, London, 1961).

  12. Peacock, E. E. Jr & Van Winkle, W. Jr Wound Repair 2nd edn, 22–53 (Saunders, Philadelphia, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Billingham, R. E. & Russell, P. S. Ann. Surg. 144, 961–981 (1956).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Grillo, H. C., Watts, G. T. & Gross, J. Ann. Surg. 148, 145–152 (1958).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Lindquist, G. Acta chir. scand. 94, Suppl 107, 1–63 (1946).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Young, J. S., Fisher, J. A. & Young, M. J. path. Bact. 52, 225–246 (1941).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Guber, S. & Rudolph, R. Surg. Gynec. Obstet. 146, 641–649 (1978).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Gabbiani, G., Ryan, G. B. & Majno, G. Experientia 27, 549–550 (1971).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Morton, D. Jr, Madden, J. W. & Peacock, E. E. Jr Surg. Forum 23, 511–512 (1972).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Kroeger, D. C. & Weatherred, J. G. in Advances in Oral Biology Vol. 2 (ed. Staple, P. H.) 32–65 (Academic, New York, 1966).

    Google Scholar 

  21. Rudolph, R., Guber, S., Suzuki, M. & Woodward, M. Surg. Gynec. Obstet. 145, 389–394 (1977).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HUTSON, J., NIALL, M., EVANS, D. et al. Effect of salivary glands on wound contraction in mice. Nature 279, 793–795 (1979).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing