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Correlations of Salivary Biomarkers with Clinical Assessments in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

By Shuai Nie, Huaibin Zhang, Kathryn M. Mayer, Frank G. Oppenheim, Frédéric F. Little, Jonathan Greenberg, Ahmet Z. Uluer and David R. Walt


Rationale: Monitoring clinical disease status in cystic fibrosis frequently requires invasive collection of clinical samples. Due to its noninvasive collection process and direct anatomic relationship with the lower airway, saliva shows great potential as a biological fluid for cystic fibrosis monitoring. Objectives: To measure the levels of multiple protein markers in human saliva supernatants and investigate the possibility of utilizing them to provide a more quantitative measure of disease state for use in research and monitoring of patients with cystic fibrosis clinically. Methods: Whole saliva samples were collected and processed from cystic fibrosis patients at two distinct time points (2010 and 2013) and measured by two separate platforms. In this cross sectional study, a convenience sample of 71 participants were recruited with samples measured by multiplexed fluorescence microarray (fiber microarray) and another 117 participant samples were measured by an automated, point-of-care, analyzer (SDReader) using a microsphere-based array via fluorescence sandwich immunoassay. For comparison, saliva from 56 and 50 healthy subjects were collected, respectively. The levels of six target proteins were quantified. Various demographic and clinical data, including spirometry, medical history, and clinicians’ assessments were also collected from patients with cystic fibrosis on the day of saliva collection. Measurements and Main Results Similar trends were observed with both platforms and compared with healthy subjects, cystic fibrosis patients had significantly elevated levels of VEGF, IP-10, IL-8, and EGF as well as lower levels of MMP-9 (P ≤ 0.005) using fiber microarray and significantly elevated levels of IP-10, IL-8 with lower levels of MMP-9 and IL-1β (P ≤ 0.02) using the SDReader. The levels of the six proteins correlated with each other significantly, and in some cases, biomarker levels could be used to differentiate between subgroups of patients with different clinical presentations. For example, IP-10 levels significantly correlated with FEV1 and disease severity (as evaluated by clinicians) with both platforms (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Significant variations of the levels of six proteins in saliva supernatants, and the correlations of these levels with clinical assessments, demonstrated the potential of saliva for cystic fibrosis research and monitoring

Publisher: 'Public Library of Science (PLoS)'
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135237.
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