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Arch Med Res. 2002 Sep-Oct;33(5):499-505.

Electrophoretic analysis of whole saliva and prevalence of dental caries. A study in Mexican dental students.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Patología Oral y Sialoqui;mica, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala (UAT), Tlaxcala, Mexico.



Variability in salivary proteins and their posttranslational modifications may play an important role in determining their protective features against dental caries. Knowledge of molecular content of saliva in different populations is important for a better understanding of protective properties of this biological fluid. Aims of this study were to analyze electrophoretic pattern and protein composition in resting human whole saliva (HWS) of a Mexican population and to correlate these data with decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index in these subjects.


Resting human whole saliva samples were collected from 120 healthy Mexican dental students. Salivary flow rate, protein concentration, and electrophoretic profile analyzed qualitatively by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) were correlated with DMFT index. Gels were successively triple-stained with Coomassie brilliant blue R250, periodic acid Schiff (PAS), silver stain, and salivary molecules were scored as absent (-), present (+/-), and high intensity and size (+).


These showed no substantial differences in number of bands between males and females; however, a slight correlation between total protein concentration and sex was found (p <or=0.05). With regard to salivary proteins and DMFT index, subjects with higher DMFT indices presented significant reduction or absence of high-molecular-weight mucin glycoprotein-1 (MG1), low-molecular-weight mucin glycoprotein-2 (MG2), and acidic proline-rich protein-1 (PRP-1), differing from subjects with lower DMFT indices (p <or=0.001).


This study concludes that genetic phenotypic polymorphism is present in the population studied and has correlations with oral health. We found specific characteristics and individual variability in number, intensity, and apparent molecular weight of band features in this Mexican population. These studies provide the initial step for creating an HWS database in this population.

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