A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with diode-array detection for the quantification of several human salivary peptides is described. Sample pretreatment consisted of the acidification of whole saliva by phosphate buffer. This treatment produced precipitation of mucins, α-amylases and other high-molecular-mass salivary proteins, simultaneous inhibition of intrinsic protease activities and reduction of sample viscosity. Direct HPLC analysis by diode-array detection of the resulting acidic sample allowed one to quantify histatin 1, histatin 3, histatin 5, statherin, as well as uric acid, in normal subjects. Moreover, the groups of peaks pertaining to proline-rich proteins and cystatins were tentatively identified. The method can be useful in assessing the concentration of salivary peptides from normal subjects and from patients suffering oral and/or periodontal diseases.
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