A procedure was developed for determining the relative levels of lactoperoxidase, leukocyte myeloperoxidase, and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase in human saliva. With this procedure, most of the peroxidase activity in whole saliva from normal (those without cancer) subjects was found to be associated with lactoperoxidase and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase, with only a minor contribution from leukocyte myeloperoxidase. In contrast, thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase and leukocyte myeloperoxidase were the major peroxidase activities present in the residual salivary secretion obtainable from two xerostomic patients examined, and these enzymes were present at concentrations much higher than those normally occurring in human saliva. The occurrence of thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase in saliva has not been previously reported and may represent either an additional peroxidase activity of saliva or a form of lactoperoxidase which is particularly sensitive to inhibition by thiocyanate
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