Salivary alpha-amylase stability, diurnal profile and lack of response to the cold hand test in young women

Salivary cortisol measurement has proved useful for the non-invasive study of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and salivary alpha-amylase has been suggested as a comparable marker for the sympathetic system. Despite some studies showing an increase in salivary alpha-amylase after challenges that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, questions remain about interpretation. The aims of this study were to explore the stability of salivary alpha-amylase, its diurnal profile, response to the cold hand test, and correlation with cortisol. Salivary alpha-amylase was stable following 5 days at room temperature, and five freeze-thaw cycles. Its diurnal profile was opposite to that of cortisol. There was no salivary alpha-amylase response to the cold hand stress test, in the morning (11am) or afternoon (3pm), unlike cortisol which showed a response in the afternoon in the same samples. There was no correlation between salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol at any time. In conclusion, salivary alpha-amylase is stable to a range of conditions. Its diurnal pattern is compatible with sympathetic stimulation. Lack of response to the cold hand test suggests that secretion of salivary alpha-amylase is controlled by mechanisms more complex than sympathetic regulation alone.

O'Donnell K, Kammerer M, O'Reilly R, Taylor A, Glover V.
Imperial College London, Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, London, UK


Influence of concentration of fragrances on salivary alpha-amylase

The objective is to reveal the influence of the concentration of fragrances on salivary biomarkers , which reflect the human stress system, in 15 female young healthy adults. Lavandula officinalis and Citrus aurantium were used as the test samples.

Salivary biomarkers such as alpha-amylase activity (AMY), cortisol (CORT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were measured during baseline, inhalation and post-inhalation periods.

Our results indicated that (i) a significant difference was not observed for the control and the 3 wt% test samples, however, the alpha-amylase was decreased by inhalation of the 1 wt% test samples (P < 0.05); (ii) AMY levels changed more significantly than did the hormone levels; (iii) a tendency of negative correlation was not observed between DHEA and CORT. It was considered that the time-course change of alpha-amylase might be a useful index of the inhalation of fragrances, which reflects the acute psychosomatic reactivity of humans

Salivary alpha-amylase as a non-invasive biomarker for the sympathetic nervous system: current state of research.

University of Zurich, Institute of Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Zurich, Switzerland.

Development of new biomarkers is a constantly evolving field of research endeavor in psychoneuroendocrinology. Salivary biomarkers have received special attention since they are readily accessible and easily obtained. Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) has been proposed as a sensitive biomarker for stress-related changes in the body that reflect the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and a growing body of research is accumulating to support the validity and reliability of this parameter. However, questions remain to be answered before Salivary alpha-amylase sAA can be accepted as an index of SNS activity. This review describes sAA as an emerging biomarker for stress and provides an overview of the current literature on stress-related alterations in Salivary alpha-amylase sAA. It critically discusses how sAA might reflect changes in the autonomic nervous system. Finally, current and future fields for the application of sAA measurement are outlined.


Amylase {alpha}-2A Autoantibodies: Novel Marker of Autoimmune Pancreatitis and Fulminant Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

Objective: The pathogenesis of autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) and fulminant type 1 diabetes (FT1DM) remains unclear, although it is known that immune-mediated processes severely compromise the endocrine and exocrine functions in both diseases. Methods: We have screened a lambdaTriplEx2 human pancreas cDNA library with serum from a patient with AIP and obtained positive clones. Sequence analysis revealed that seven out of 10 clones were identical to human amylase alpha-2A. Using a recombinant C-terminal amylase alpha-2A protein, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system to detect autoantibodies against human amylase alpha-2A. Results: All 15 serum samples from patients with AIP recognized the recombinant protein, while sera from 25 patients with chronic alcoholic pancreatitis and sera from 25 patients with a pancreas tumor did not. Interestingly, 88% (15/17) of patients with FT1DM were positive for an autoantibody against amylase alpha-2A. These antibodies were detected in 21% of patients with acute-onset type 1 diabetes (AT1DM, 9/42) and 6% of type 2 diabetic patients (4/67). Conclusions: These results suggest that an autoantibody against amylase alpha-2A is a novel diagnostic marker for both AIP and FT1DM, and that clinically and immunologically, AIP and FT1DM are closely related.

Endo T, Takizawa S, Tanaka S, Takahashi M, Fujii H, Kamisawa T, Kobayashi T.
Diabetes. 2008 Nov 10