Immunoreactive substance P is decreased in saliva of patients with chronic back pain syndromes.
Substance P, a neuropeptide associated with pain perception, is widely distributed in the central nervous system and is decreased in the cerebrospinal fluid of chronic pain patients as compared with that of healthy human volunteers. In this study, we have demonstrated the presence of immunoreactive substance P in saliva and further, that both saliva and plasma levels of immunoreactive substance P are lower in patients with chronic low back pain than in healthy human volunteers. To our knowledge, this is the first time that substance P has been identified in human saliva. These findings, together with the noninvasive nature of saliva collection, suggest that substance P in saliva may be useful as an alternative neurochemical correlate of chronic low back pain when collection of cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples for substance P analysis is unacceptable or inappropriate.
Parris, WC; Kambam, JR; Naukam, RJ; Rama Sastry, BV
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