A pooled saliva sample from a 70 year old male. What is happening with these cells?

Epithelial cells

Are these cells undergoing normal apoptosis?

In the video, the cytoplasmic movement looks liquefied and jelly-like (A).

B looks more granular, with small vacuoles that seem to have bacterial activity in them (what could this be?).

Elsewhere in the sample were completely detached, intact nuclei.

Could this be indicative of diabetes? http://www.jdrntruhs.org/temp/JNTRUnivHealthSci1133-9277352_023437.pdf


The cell you've marked "B" is dead, as is common in cells in a saliva sample. The particular path to cell death is very hard to say with an unstained light micrograph, but the fact that you have a dead blebby cell in a saliva sample is not diagnostic or indicative of anything.

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  • $\begingroup$ If there is a relatively high abundance of them in saliva, could it be indicative of oxidative stress/lipid peroxidation/ROS? $\endgroup$ – SMc Jul 11 '18 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ @SMc The count of dead/live buccal cells in saliva is not useful diagnostic information $\endgroup$ – De Novo Jul 11 '18 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Could you share what signs in a stain might indicate a particular path to cell death? $\endgroup$ – SMc Jul 11 '18 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SMc generally, you'd at least want an H&E stain to help identify the eosinophillic and basophillic elements. You can read more about a variety of different ways pathologists identify different pathways to cell death here $\endgroup$ – De Novo Jul 11 '18 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for the info and link, exactly what I didn't know I needed. Much appreciated! $\endgroup$ – SMc Jul 12 '18 at 1:16

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