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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Levels of Interleukin-6 in Saliva, but Not Plasma, Correlate with Clinical Metrics in Huntington's Disease Patients and Healthy Control Subjects.

  • Author(s): Corey-Bloom, Jody
  • Fischer, Ryan S
  • Kim, Aeri
  • Snell, Chase
  • Parkin, Georgia M
  • Granger, Douglas A
  • Granger, Steven W
  • Thomas, Elizabeth A
  • et al.

Growing evidence suggests that inflammatory responses, in both the brain and peripheral tissues, contribute to disease pathology in Huntington's disease (HD), an inherited, progressive neurodegenerative disorder typically affecting adults in their 30-40 s. Hence, studies of inflammation-related markers in peripheral fluids might be useful to better characterize disease features. In this study, we measured levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1B), and alpha-amylase (AA) in saliva and plasma from n = 125 subjects, including n = 37 manifest HD patients, n = 36 premanifest patients, and n = 52 healthy controls, using immunoassays. We found increases in salivary levels of IL-6, IL-1B and CRP across different disease groups and increased levels of IL-6 in the plasma of HD patients as compared to premanifest patients and controls. The levels of salivary IL-6 were significantly correlated with each of the other salivary markers, as well as with IL-6 levels measured in plasma. Further, salivary IL-6 and IL-1B levels were significantly positively correlated with Total Motor Score (TMS) and chorea scores and negatively correlated with Total Functional Capacity (TFC) in HD patients, whereby in healthy control subjects, IL-6 was significantly negatively correlated with Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Symbol Digit Modalities test (SDM). Interestingly, the plasma levels of IL-6 did not show similar correlations to any clinical measures in either HD or control subjects. These findings suggest that salivary IL-6 is particularly relevant as a potential non-invasive biomarker for HD symptoms. The advent of an effective, dependable salivary biomarker would meet the urgent need for a less invasive means of identifying and monitoring HD disease progression.

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