Acute phase protein and cytokine levels in serum and saliva: A comparison of detectable levels and correlations in a depressed and healthy adolescent sample

Michelle L. Byrne, Neil M. O'Brien-Simpson, Eric C. Reynolds, Katrina A. Walsh, Katrina Laughton, Joanna M. Waloszek, Michael J. Woods, John Trinder, Nicholas B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent research has examined associations between inflammation and mental health, and has increasingly focused on utilising younger samples to characterise the temporal relationship between inflammatory responses and the emergence of other symptoms. These studies have typically used blood to measure inflammation, although rates of detection for many inflammatory markers appear to be low. Saliva is a safe and low-cost alternative, and adult research has shown that levels of some salivary markers correlate well with those in serum. However, no research has examined this association in young people. This study examined 16 inflammatory markers in serum and saliva in 17 depressed adolescents and 18 healthy controls, aged 13-18. years. In general, detection rates were higher in saliva compared to in serum. When non-detectable levels were excluded, serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) correlated with salivary CRP (r=0.424, p=0.015), and this correlation appeared to only exist for those individuals with high levels of serum CRP (r=0.599, p=0.014). However, when non-detectable levels were included as zero, salivary levels of CRP, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12p70, and interferon (IFN)-γ correlated with their serum counterparts. No significant clinical group differences in any acute phase proteins or cytokines were present. This study suggests that saliva can be used to measure inflammation in studies with adolescent participants, especially CRP, as it appears to correlate with systemic inflammation for those individuals who are expected to have high levels of inflammation. Implications for future directions in research on salivary inflammatory markers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute phase proteins
  • Adolescence
  • C-reactive protein
  • Cytokines
  • Depression
  • Saliva
  • Serum

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