Résumé : OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression and localization of aquaporin 5 (AQP5) in salivary glands and salivary gland function in the NOD mouse. METHODS: All experiments were performed using NOD and BALB/c mice (ages 8 weeks and 24 weeks). Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemical analysis were used to study the expression and distribution of AQP5 in salivary glands. In addition, salivary gland function was determined. RESULTS: Compared with the levels in BALB/c mice, relative AQP5 messenger RNA levels were not significantly modified in the parotid glands from NOD mice of both ages but were significantly increased in the submandibular glands from NOD mice of both ages. Western blot analyses of both salivary gland membranes revealed that the level of AQP5 protein was increased in 24-week-old NOD mice. Important inflammatory infiltrates were observed in the submandibular glands, but not in the parotid glands, from 24-week-old NOD mice. The 8-week-old and 24-week-old BALB/c mice and the 8-week-old NOD mice showed AQP5 primarily at the apical membrane of the salivary gland acinus. In contrast, in acini from the submandibular glands (but not the parotid glands) from 24-week-old NOD mice, AQP5 staining was reduced at the apical membrane but was increased at the basal membrane. A moderately statistically significant decrease in pilocarpine-stimulated salivary flow was observed in 24-week-old NOD mice compared with that in age-matched BALB/c mice. CONCLUSION: Submandibular glands from 24-week-old NOD mice displayed inflammatory infiltrates, increased AQP5 protein expression, and impaired AQP5 distribution. However, the moderately statistically significant decrease in the salivary flow rate in these mice did not match the extent of AQP5 misdistribution.