Send to

Choose Destination
Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2012 Jul 4;50(2):248-54.

Decrease in salivary lactoferrin output in chronically intoxicated alcohol-dependent patients.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.


Salivary lactoferrin is a glycoprotein involved in the elimination of pathogens and the prevention of massive overgrowth of microorganisms that affect oral and general health. A high concentration of lactoferrin in saliva is often considered to be a marker of damage to the salivary glands, gingivitis, or leakage through inflamed or damaged oral mucosa, infiltrated particularly by neutrophils. We conducted a study to determine the effect of chronic alcohol intoxication on salivary lactoferrin concentration and output. The study included 30 volunteers consisting of ten non-smoking male patients after chronic alcohol intoxication (group A), and 20 control nonsmoking male social drinkers (group C) with no history of alcohol abuse. Resting whole saliva was collected 24 to 48 hours after a chronic alcohol intoxication period. Lactoferrin was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For all participants, the DMFT index (decayed, missing, or filled teeth), gingival index (GI) and papilla bleeding index (PBI) were assessed. The differences between groups were evaluated using the Mann-Whitney U test. We noticed significantly decreased salivary flow (SF) in alcohol dependent patients after chronic alcohol intoxication (A), compared to the control group (C). Although there was no significant difference in salivary lactoferrin concentration between the alcohol dependent group A and the control group C, we found significantly decreased lactoferrin output in group A compared to group C. We found a significant correlation between the amount of daily alcohol use and a decrease in lactoferrin output. There was a significant increase in GI and a tendency of PBI to increase in group A compared to group C. We demonstrated that chronic alcohol intoxication decreases SF and lactoferrin output. The decreased lactoferrin output in persons chronically intoxicated by alcohol may be the result of lactoferrin exhaustion during drinking (due to its alcohol-related lower biosynthesis or higher catabolism) or to decreased function of neutrophils affected by the ethanol. The poorer periodontal state in alcohol dependent persons compared to controls may be a result of lower salivary flow and decreased protection of the oral cavity by lactoferrin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Via Medica Medical Publishers
Loading ...
Support Center