The Origins of Salivary Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D-Binding Proteins

Guy Carpenter, Matt Blakeley, Agatha Sobczyńska- Malefora

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Vitamin A- (retinol), vitamin B12- (haptocorrin) and vitamin D-binding proteins are the major circulatory transporters of their respective ligands; they are also constituents of the salivary proteome, the origins of which, remain unclear. The aim of this study was to explore how these proteins enter saliva and their relationship (if any) with vitamin status. Firstly, the three vitamin-binding proteins were quantified in resting whole mouth saliva and chewing-stimulated saliva from healthy donors (n = 10) to determine if they enter the mouth by salivary secretion or from the circulation. Secondly paired whole mouth saliva and serum samples were analysed from healthy donors (n = 14) to determine the relationships between the vitamin-binding proteins and vitamin status. Salivary output of all three vitamin-binding proteins studied increased when secretion was stimulated, suggesting they are secreted by the salivary glands. Whilst retinol-binding protein and haptocorrin were secreted by all major salivary glands, vitamin D-binding protein was restricted to the mucus glands. Salivary vitamin-binding protein concentrations were not found to be indicative of systemic vitamin status.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Dec 2020


  • vitamins; saliva; haptocorrin; vitamin D-binding protein; retinol-binding protein

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