Differences in saliva collection location and disparities in baseline and diurnal rhythms of alpha-amylase: A preliminary note of caution

Amanda G. Harmon, Nissa R. Towe-Goodman, Christine K. Fortunato, Douglas A. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Identified in the early 1980s as a surrogate marker of the sympathetic nervous system component of the stress response, there has been renewed interest in measuring salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) to test biosocial models of stress vulnerability. This brief report presents studies that document that oral fluids from the parotid and submandibular gland areas had higher sAA values than did whole saliva specimens, and sAA values in whole saliva were higher than levels measured in oral fluids from the sublingual gland area. sAA in oral fluids from the parotid and submandibular gland areas showed the highest and more pronounced diurnal variation than levels in whole saliva, and sAA in sublingual saliva showed the lowest and shallowest diurnal variation. When this source of inherent variability in sAA activity levels is not controlled for by collecting oral fluids consistently from specific gland areas, the detection of individual differences, associations between sAA and "behavioral" variables, and intra-individual change in sAA levels may be compromised. Awareness, and management, of this ubiquitous source of measurement error in sAA are essential to ensure the success of future research on the correlates and concomitants of sAA levels, stress-related reactivity and recovery, and diurnal variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

Keywords

  • Oral fluid
  • Parotid saliva
  • Saliva collection
  • Salivary alpha-amylase
  • Sublingual saliva
  • Submandibular saliva
  • Surrogate marker
  • Whole saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Differences in saliva collection location and disparities in baseline and diurnal rhythms of alpha-amylase: A preliminary note of caution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this