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the secretion of salivary glands, consisting of a clear usually slightly acid aqueous fluid of variable composition. It moistens the oral cavity, prepares food for swallowing, and initiates the process of digestion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the clear, viscid secretion of the salivary glands, with a weakly acid or weakly alkaline reaction (pH 5.6–7.6). A human adult secretes about 1.5 liters of saliva a day, and large farm animals from 40–60 to 120 liters. The composition and quantity of the saliva vary according to the consistency and chemical composition of the substances taken into the mouth and the organism’s functional condition.

Saliva contains 98.5–99.5 percent water, and dissolved anions of chlorides, phosphates, bicarbonates, thiocyanates, iodides, bromides, fluorides, and sulfates and the cations Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+. It also contains the trace elements Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, Li, Zn, and others and organic matter, including protein and its fractions (albumin, globulins), amino acids, and mucin. In addition, it contains the enzymes amylase, lactase, ly-sozyme, kallikrein, and parotin, as well as cholesterol, glucose, lactic acid, and vitamins C, B1, B12, H, and K. Saliva helps dissolve the food, thus facilitating the perception of taste and the protection of the teeth against caries. It coats the alimentary bolus, thereby enabling the food to pass easily through the esophagus into the stomach; it also affects the secretory and motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract.

The level of development, habitat, and nature of the food consumed determine the content of certain constituents in the saliva of some animals. In snakes, for example, the saliva contains toxins and serves as a means of defense and attack. In other animals, including annelid worms and some birds, the secretions of the salivary glands are rich in the sticky substances needed to glue together the materials used in building nests. The saliva of bloodsucking animals, such as leeches and mosquitoes, usually contains anticoagulants, for example, hirudin in leeches. Carnivorous animals that feed on live prey may secrete paralyzing toxins in the saliva. Many insects, some mol-lusks (for example, Helix), and vertebrates secrete salivary car-bohydrases. The saliva of some predatory cephalopods contains proteases as well as toxins and mucus.


Fiziologiia pishchevareniia. Leningrad, 1974(Rukovodstvo po fiziologii.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The opalescent, tasteless secretions of the oral glands.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The collected parotid saliva and mixed saliva were stored at -80[degrees] C until use.
These results support the potential value of parotid saliva as a biomarker for monitoring diabetes mellitus.
Moreno, Basic Biological Sciences Relationship Between Concentration of Human Salivary Statherin and Inhibition of Calcium Phosphate Precipitation in Stimulated Human Parotid Saliva, J.
Sato (1975) demonstrated that decreases in parotid saliva secretion rates after dry forage feeding were related to increases in plasma osmolality.
In experiment 1, an intraruminal infusion of artificial parotid saliva (RIAPS) in control replenished saliva lost via the esophageal fistula and an intraruminal infusion of hypertonic solution (RIHS) in the treatment was carried out in order to reproduce the effects of changing salt content due to feed entering the rumen.
Parotid function and composition of parotid saliva among elderly edentulous African- American diabetics.
However, in the SFC control, 3.5 L of artificial parotid saliva, a solution resembling parotid saliva (Sunagawa et al., 2008), was intraruminally infused to replenish saliva removed from the esophageal fistula during sham feeding.
Age-related changes in immunoglobulin isotypes in whole and parotid saliva and serum in healthy individuals.
The volume of parotid saliva collected was 1.0-1.5 mL, the volume of submandibular saliva was 0.50-0.70 mL, and the volume for the sublingual collection was 0.03-0.05 mL.
(2003) reported that a suppression of dry forage intake during the early stages of feeding in goats was partly caused by feeding-induced hypovolemia (decrease in plasma volume), which was produced by the accelerated secretion of parotid saliva. However, the mechanism responsible for the suppression of dry forage intake after 40 min of feeding is still unclear.
For method validation, human plasma (Etablissement Francais du sang) and parotid saliva were obtained from pooled samples collected from healthy volunteers.
It was found that the optimum infusion rates of artificial parotid saliva to increase feed intake were 17 to 19 ml/min.