King's College London

Research portal

Microliths in the parotid of ferret investigated by electron microscopy and microanalysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Asterios Triantafyllou, John D. Harrison, John R. Garrett

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439 - 447
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Experimental Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

King's Authors

Research Groups

  • King's College London


P>The present investigation is an attempt to determine the occurrence, elemental composition and formation of microliths in the parotid of ferret. Parotids from four normal ferrets were examined by electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. Crystalline microliths were found in phagosomes of acinar cells, which occasionally contained secretory material, and in phagosomes situated between mitochondria of striated ductal cells. Crystalline microliths and microliths that consisted of granular material either without crystals or mixed with a component of crystals were found in lumina, where they were often associated with cellular debris. The crystals contained calcium and phosphorus. Phagy and stagnation related to pockets of inefficient secretory activity have been previously found to be features of the parotid of ferret. Thus, possibly persistent degradation of redundant cellular material, particularly secretory granules, in phagosomes results in accumulation of calcium and leads to calcified microliths, whereas consolidation of stagnant debris extracellularly does not involve such accumulation and leads to non-calcified or mixed microliths.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454