Ethanol and Human Saliva: Effect of Chronic Alcoholism on Flow Rate, Composition, and Epidermal Growth Factor

Sudhir K. Dutta, Moldes Orestes, Sheetal Vengulekur, Paul Kwo

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Parotid saliva samples from 24 alcoholic subjects without evidence of cirrhosis were analyzed for changes in flow rate, composition, and epidermal growth factor (EGF) secretion. Mean (±SE) stimulated parotid saliva flow rate (ml/min/gland) was significantly (p < 0.01) lower in alcoholic subjects than in matched control subjects. Reduction in parotid saliva flow rate was associated with significant (p < 0.05) decrease in total protein and amylase secretion in this group of patients. In addition, secretion of immunoreactive EGF, a specific salivary protein, was also markedly reduced (p < 0.05) in alcoholic patients. None of the parotid saliva samples from the alcoholic subjects had detectable bioactivity of EGF in saliva. These data suggest that chronic alcohol ingestion is associated with significant changes in parotid saliva secretion and its composition, which may perpetuate and compound ethanol-induced injury to the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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