J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2020 Jan;10(1):65-71. 10.34160/jkds.2020.10.1.008.

Correlation between Salivary Mucin Concentration and Viscosity -An Exploratory Study in Healthy People

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Dongguk University-Seoul, Seoul, Korea


To analyze the rheological and biochemical properties of saliva in healthy adults.
The subjects were seven healthy young adults (20-39 years). The whole saliva was collected by the spitting method between 9:00 am and 12:00 am. Unstimulated saliva was collected first, which was followed by the collection of stimulated saliva using citric acid was collected. The viscosity was measured using a capillary viscometer to examine the rheological properties. The MUC5B concentration was analyzed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the biochemical properties.
Ten and five minutes were required on average for unstimulated saliva and stimulated saliva, respectively, to collect the minimum amount needed for analysis (8 ml). The flow rate increased from 1.037±0.323 ml/min to 1.823± 0.660 ml/min after stimulation (P=0.018). Citric acid stimulation also increased the MUC5B concentration in the saliva from 3.706±3.575 μg/ml to 6.928±2.03 μg/ml (P=0.028). The viscosity of saliva, however, did not show a significant difference between with (1.1±0.164 cSt) or without (1.019±0.08 cSt) stimulation (P=0.128). A positive correlation was observed between the flow rate and MUC5B concentration (Spearman’s rho=0.547, P=0.043). On the other hand, there was no significant correlation between the MUC5B concentration and viscosity both in the unstimulated and stimulated saliva (P=0.939 and 0.819, respectively).
No significant correlation was observed between the MUC5B concentration and viscosity. Considering the time required to collect samples, an analysis of the stimulated saliva appears feasible in various research settings. The feasibility of these analysis methods should be examined in a patient population.


Saliva; Saliva; Mucin-5B; Viscosity; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
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