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Specialized Cells in the Salivary Gland

The salivary gland ducts serve as an epithelial barrier between secretory components of the gland and the oral cavity. An essential function of such a barrier is the detection and response to external insults. In many tissues, scattered single chemosensory cells (SCCs) function as sentinels, which relay external cues into transduced signals that activate an immune response.

We are investigating whether SCCs in the salivary glands play a critical role in mounting an immune response, and might be involved in the mechanisms leading to acute and chronic inflammation.

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