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Arch Oral Biol. 2003 Aug;48(8):547-51.

Salivary carbonic anhydrase VI and its relation to salivary flow rate and buffer capacity in pregnant and non-pregnant women.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Oulu, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.



Previous studies have shown that pregnancy may have unfavourable effects on oral health. The pH and buffer capacity (BC) of paraffin-stimulated saliva, for example, have been found to decrease towards late pregnancy. Salivary carbonic anhydrase VI (CA VI) probably protects the teeth by accelerating the neutralization of hydrogen ions in the enamel pellicle on dental surfaces. Since estrogens and androgens are known to regulate CA expression in some tissues, we studied here whether salivary CA VI concentration shows pregnancy-related changes.


Paraffin-stimulated salivary samples were collected from nine pregnant women 1 month before delivery and about 2 months afterwards and assayed for salivary CA VI concentration, BC and flow rate. The enzyme concentration was determined using a specific time-resolved immunofluorometric assay. The control group consisted of 17 healthy non-pregnant women.


The results indicated that salivary CA VI levels varied markedly among individuals, but no significant differences in mean concentrations were seen between the samples collected during late pregnancy and postpartum. BC values were lower during pregnancy, however.


Our findings suggest that CA VI secretion is not significantly affected by the hormonal alterations associated with pregnancy, and confirm the earlier reports that CA VI is not involved in the regulation of actual salivary BC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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