Levels of the antimicrobial proteins lactoferrin and chromogranin in the saliva of individuals with oral dryness

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Statement of problem.

Many individuals in an aging society experience oral dryness. Maintaining the flow of saliva and the presence of antimicrobial substances is important to maintain oral health. The inhibition of the secretion of antimicrobial substances could lead to oral dryness.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial substances lactoferrin and chromogranin A in the saliva of elderly individuals with oral dryness.

Material and methods.

The study included 25 controls and 28 participants with subjective oral dryness. The levels of lactoferrin and chromogranin A were determined in unstimulated whole saliva with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The differences in secretion of lactoferrin and chromogranin A between the controls and the participants with oral dryness were analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U test (α=.05).


The flow rate of lactoferrin and chromogranin A was lower in the group of participants with oral dryness (lactoferrin, 7.43 ±7.08 ng/min; chromogranin A, 0.24 ±0.24 ng/min) than in the control group (lactoferrin, 21.52 ±7.67 ng/min; chromogranin A, 0.97 ±0.69 ng/min) (P<.01). The ratio of both antimicrobial proteins to total protein was also lower in participants with oral dryness than in the controls.


The results of this study indicated that the levels of lactoferrin and chromogranin A were lower in those with oral dryness. A reduction in the secretion of these antimicrobial substances may be associated with oral dryness.

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