QS Study

In humans, the two parotid glands are present on either side of the mouth and in front of both ears. It is the largest salivary gland situated below the external acoustic meatus, between the ramus of the mandible and the sternomastoid. They are responsible for producing saliva to aid in chewing and digesting food.

Development of parotid gland:

  1. Gland develops from buds that arise from the oral ectodermal lining near the angles of stomodeum.
  2. The buds grow towards the ear and branch to form a solid cord with rounded ends.
  3. Later these cords are canalized and become ducts.
  4. The capsule and connective tissue develop from the surrounding mesenchyme.

Secretions from glands close to the oral cavity are mainly mucous, while glands located further away from the oral cavity (parotid) are mainly serous. Structurally, each salivary gland is divided by connective tissue septa into lobes, which are in turn subdivided into lobules.

Histological Structure of Parotid Gland 1

Fig: Histological Structure of Parotid Gland

Histological structure of parotid gland:

The parotid gland is composed mainly of serous cells and produces saliva that is watery and rich in enzymes (amylase and lysozyme) and antibodies. Two types of cells are visible in this section. The abundant serous exocrine cells make up the bulk of the gland. There are admixed fat cells, and between lobules of acini are connective tissue septae through with the larger ducts are found.

  1. It is a compound tubuloalveolar serous gland.
  2. Divided into lobules, separated by interlobular connective tissue.
  3. Within each lobule, there are masses of serous alveoli.
  4. Each alveolus formed by pyramidal cells arranged around a lumen.
  5. Within the lobules, there are blood vessels & adipose tissue.
  6. In interlobular connective tissue, there are numerous interlobular intercalated and striated ducts, blood vessels and nerves.
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