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LIPS and Saliva

January 28, 2011

Saliva collectionA team of NIDCR scientists has published a series of research articles on a promising experimental technique called LIPS and its potential to streamline the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome. 

To read more about the steps in their research progress, see: 

If you clicked on the links above, you may have noticed that the work involved detecting specific autoantibodies in serum.  This raises the question of whether the extremely sensitive LIPS technique also will work using saliva, which mirrors virtually everything present in blood serum but at concentrations 1,000 to 10,000 times lower.  The NIDCR and other research agencies have supported a number of efforts to develop saliva as a future easy-to-collect, everyday diagnostic bodily fluid.

As published online on January 6 in the Journal of Dental Research, the researchers provide a preliminary answer in the affirmative.  The study involved 27 healthy controls and 27 people previously diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome and was performed in collaboration with Dr. Ignacio Sanz at the University of Rochester.  The researchers collected whole saliva from the participants and examined the samples for the presence of two autoantibodies, Ro52 and Ro60.  Both are strongly associated with Sjögren’s syndrome and commonly tested for in people suspected of having the condition.  However, about 30 percent of Sjögren’s patients don’t have autoantibodies in their serum for Ro52 or Ro60, suggesting the syndrome may have more than one biological trigger.

The researchers report that LIPS detected Ro60 autoantibodies in 70 percent of the saliva of Sjögren’s patients with 96 percent specificity.  The technique detected R052 autoantibodies in 67 percent of the saliva of Sjögren’s patients with 100 percent specificity.  Specificity measures the proportion of healthy people who are correctly identified as not having the disease.  The authors noted that autoantibody titers for both antigens were 4,000 fold lower by volume than in serum.

  • Salivary anti-Ro60 and anti-Ro52 Antibody Profiles to Diagnose Sjogren's Syndrome.  Ching KH, Burbelo PD, Gonzalez-Begne M, Roberts ME, Coca A, Sanz I, Iadarola MJ. J Dent Res. 2011 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print] 




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This page last updated: October 21, 2014