Saliva is an enriched milieu containing biologically active proteins, including several different growth factors and cytokines. This study documents that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent, multifunctional, angiogenic cytokine, is a component of normal human saliva. VEGF was measured by ELISA in whole saliva (median concentration, 460 pg/ml) and in ductal secretions obtained from the parotid (277 pg/ml) and the submandibular-sublingual (80 pg/ml) salivary glands. VEGF seems to be synthesized endogenously by the salivary glands because both VEGF mRNA and protein (as revealed by in situ reverse transcriptase-PCR and by immunohistochemistry, respectively) colocalized to serous acinar cells and ductal epithelial cells within the parotid, submandibular, and minor salivary glands. These findings point to the existence of a 'salivary VEGF system.' It is possible that salivary VEGF plays a role in regulating physiologic and pathologic angiogenic and other vascular responses in salivary and mucosal tissues. And in particular, the presence of VEGF in saliva may contribute to the remarkable healing capacity of the oral mucosa as well as other regions of the digestive tract.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jul 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology