Regulation of submaxillary gland muscarinic receptors during heat acclimation

Yoel Kloog*, Michal Horowitz, Uri Meiri, Ronit Galron, A. Avron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Binding properties of submaxillary gland muscarinic receptors and agonist-induced saliva secretion were studied in rats subjected to heat acclimation. The maximal binding capacity for the muscarinic antagonist N-[3H]methyl-4-piperidyl benzilate was increased from control value of 0.21 to 0.40 pmol/mg protein within 1-2 days of heat acclimation. The increase in the number of muscarinic recetors per gland (100%) was by far higher than the increase in tissue weight (20%), indicating higher density of receptors in the acinar cells of the treated rats. High levels of receptors coincided with the appearance of high-affinity binding sites for muscarinic agonists (oxotremorine, pilocarpine and carbamylcholine), and with reduced tissue sensitivity to pilocarpine. After 4-8 weeks of heat acclimation, the number of receptors as well as tissue response to pilocarpine returned to control levels. These results suggest a functional correlation between the transient upregulation muscarinic receptors in the submaxillary gland and the physiological activity in salivary secretion, and indicate that the high-affinity muscarinic receptors may attenuate saliva secretion during the initial phase of heat acclimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 30 Jun 1985


  • (Submaxillary gland)
  • Heat acclimation
  • Muscarinic receptor


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