Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is mainly caused by systemic disease, biological aging, and drug-induced side effect. The innervations underlying the three major salivary glands and numerous minor salivary glands differ substantially. The trafficking of aquaporin-5 (AQP5), which is specifically expressed in salivary glands, is regulated by the autonomic nerves. Upon the stimulation of the cholinergic nerve, AQP5 travels to apical and lateral plasma membranes, nuclei, and saliva. In this review article, I will describe the subcellular localization of AQP5 in relation to the causes of xerostomia. Ways of managing xerostomia, in particular the use of functional foods and salivary secretagogues, are also discussed.
Journal of Oral Health and Biosciences
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