The present study describes the phenomenon of calciphylaxis, rapid calcification due to treatment with sensitizer dihydrotachysterol (DHT) and challenging agent 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in the rat submandibular gland (SMG) in terms of light and electron microscopy, and histochemistry. For biophysical analysis of the calcified bodies, X-ray microanalysis (XMA) and X-ray powdered diffraction methods were used. The calcified lesions in the salivary glands were histologically divided into 3 types: type 1, calcification of basal membranes in duct-like structures; type 2, granular calcified materials with remarkable necrotic changes in cell, containing 3 kinds of small vesicular structures observed in electron microscopy; and type 3, von Kossa's positive structures containing needle-like crystalline and electron-dense amorphous materials. Con A and UEA-1 lectin staining reactions were strong in the type 1 and 2 lesions. These findings suggest that the calcification matrix may contain mannose, fucose and glucose. The X-ray microanalysis of calcified materials revealed the magnesium whitelockite pattern, the type 3 displayed high quantities of Ca, P, and Mg ions comparing with the type 1 and 2, and the X-ray diffraction showed the hydroxyapatite pattern. We suggest that the above changes may be categorized as dystrophic calcification due to necrotic alterations brought about by the hypercalcaemic condition.