Salivary calcium and phosphate stability in different time and temperature storage

Filipe Ivan Daniel Luiza Lima Claudia Regina dos Santos About the authors

ABSTRACT

The non-invasive collection and inexpensive nature of saliva has made it an attractive sample for use for diagnosis and research on several diseases. Storage circumstances may affect salivary component concentrations. The objective was to analyze calcium and phosphate stability in saliva samples stored at different conditions. Saliva of healthy people was stored and analyzed by spectrophotometry under different time and temperature conditions in order to evaluate calcium and phosphate stability. Calcium concentration was measured by Arsenazo III reaction at 600nm and phosphate by an acid-molybdate method at 650nm. Using Lin's concordance correlation coefficient (k), we observed very good agreement (k>0.8) for all samples frozen at -20 oC up to 50 days. Thaw/refreezing cycles can compromise phosphate stability even though there is good agreement (0.61<k<0.8). Because of higher variability for refrigerated samples, they are not the best storage method, although calcium and phosphate levels could be considered stable when the samples were stored at 4 oC for 7 days. Our results revealed that under different conditions, calcium and phosphate levels are stable in saliva samples, and that freezing at -20oC is the storage condition of choice, allowing to accumulate a higher number of samples before analysis, making it suitable for routine and research assays.

Uniterms:
Saliva/study/analysis; Saliva/storage/analysis; Saliva/calcium/stability/spectrophotometry; Saliva/phosphorus/stability/spectrophotometry.

INTRODUCTION

Saliva is a complex biological fluid composed of secretion of three pairs of major salivary glands (parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands) and multiple minor glands including labial, buccal, lingual, and palatal tissues. Its final product is made up of water, macromolecule proteins (e.g., amylase, lysozyme, carbonic anhydrase, and immunoglobulin A), and various electrolytes including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and phosphate (Newkirk et al., 2000NEWKIRK, K.A.; RINGEL, M.D.; WARTOFSKY, L. BURMAN, K.D. The role of radioactive iodine in salivary gland dysfunction. Ear Nose Throat J. v. 79, n. 6, p. 460-468, 2000. ; Humphrey, Williamson, 2001HUMPHREY, S.P.; WILLIAMSON, R.T. A review of saliva: normal composition, flow, and function. J. Prosthet. Dent. v.85, n.2, p.162-169, 2001.; Prasanthi, Kannan, Patil et al., 2014PRASANTHI, B.; KANNAN, N.; PATIL, R. Effect of diuretics on salivary flow, composition and oral health status: a clinico-biochemical study. Ann. Med. Health Sci. Res. v.4, n.4, p.549-553, 2014. ). Calcium and phosphate work together as an antisolubility factor and modulate the process of tooth demineralization and remineralization (Humphrey, Williamson, 2001HUMPHREY, S.P.; WILLIAMSON, R.T. A review of saliva: normal composition, flow, and function. J. Prosthet. Dent. v.85, n.2, p.162-169, 2001.) in order to prevent caries and dental erosion (Lussi, Jaeggi, 2008LUSSI, A.; JAEGGI, T. Erosion-diagnosis and risk factors. Clin. Oral Investig. v.12 Suppl. 1, p.S5-S13, 2008. ). As these ions are found to be decreased in the saliva of patients with active carious lesions (Preethi, Reshma, Anand, 2010PREETHI, B. P.; RESHMA, D.; ANAND, P. Evaluation of flow rate, pH, buffering capacity, calcium, total proteins and total antioxidant capacity levels of saliva in caries free and caries active children: an in vivo study. Indian J. Clin. Biochem.v.25, n.4, p.425-428, 2010. ; Fiyaz et al., 2013FIYAZ, M.; RAMESH, A.; RAMALINGAM, K.; THOMAS, B.; SHETTY, S.; PRAKASH, P. Association of salivary calcium, phosphate, pH and flow rate on oral health: A study on 90 subjects. J. Indian. Soc. Periodontol., v.17, n.4, p.454-460, 2013. ; Hegde et al., 2014HEGDE, M.N.; TAHILIANI, D.; SHETTY, S.; DEVADIGA, D. Salivary alkaline phosphatase and calcium in caries-active type II diabetes mellitus patients: an in vivo study. Contemp. Clin. Dent. v.5, n.4, p.440-444, 2014. ; Prasanthi et al., 2014PRASANTHI, B.; KANNAN, N.; PATIL, R. Effect of diuretics on salivary flow, composition and oral health status: a clinico-biochemical study. Ann. Med. Health Sci. Res. v.4, n.4, p.549-553, 2014. ), these biochemical parameters play an important role in determining individual caries and other tooth demineralization susceptibility (Kaur, Kwatra, Kamboj, 2012KAUR, A.; KWATRA, K.S.; KAMBOJ, P. Evaluation of non-microbial salivary caries activity parameters and salivary biochemical indicators in predicting dental caries. J. Indian. Soc. Pedod. Prev. Dent. v.30, n.3, p.212-217, 2012. ).

Many local and systemic diseases can affect salivary glands, as well as drugs, hormone and radiation therapy. Saliva-based diagnostics are emerging and offer a promising clinical strategy, characterizing the association between salivary analytes and a particular disease (De Almeida Pdel et al., 2008DE ALMEIDA PDEL, V.; GRÉGIO, A.M.; MACHADO, M.A.; DE LIMA, A.A.; AZEVEDO, L.R. Saliva composition and functions: a comprehensive review. J. Contemp. Dent. Pract., v.9, n.3, p.72-80, 2008. ; Zhang et al., 2012ZHANG, A.; SUN, H.; WANG, P.; HAN, Y.; WANG, X. Recent and potential developments of biofluid analyses in metabolomics. J. Proteomics v.75, n.4, p.1079-1088, 2012.). Furthermore, saliva has an easy and non-invasive collection nature, ready availability, which makes it a very attractive, safe, and inexpensive diagnostic tool (Herr et al., 2007HERR, A.E.; HATCH, A.V.; THROCKMORTON, D.J.; TRAN, H.M.; BRENNAN, J. S.; GIANNOBILE, W.V.; SINGH, A.K. Microfluidic immunoassays as rapid saliva-based clinical diagnostics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. v.104, n.13, p.5268-5273, 2007. ; Schipper, Silletti, Vingerhoeds, 2007SCHIPPER, R.G.; SILLETTI, E.; VINGERHOEDS, M.H. Saliva as research material: biochemical, physicochemical and practical aspects. Arch. Oral Biol. v.52, n.12, p.1114-1135, 2007. ; Emekli-Alturfan et al., 2013EMEKLI-ALTURFAN, E.; YARAT, A.; ÇALISKAN-AK, E.; PISIRICILER, R.; JURU, B.; NOYAN, U. Determination of storage time of saliva samples obtained from patients with and without chronic periodontitis for the comparison of some biochemical and cytological parameters. J. Clin. Lab. Anal., v.27, n.4, p.261-266, 2013. ). Several studies (Table I) analyzed changes to saliva components (including calcium and phosphate) in various diseases/conditions using different protocols (immediately or previously frozen analysis) but some of them do not mention the time elapsed between saliva collection and laboratory analysis, neither temperature storage. However, these circumstances may affect several salivary component concentrations; thus, there has to be available information on the use of saliva in both research and laboratorial/clinical practice. There are few studies that have evaluated the stability of saliva components after collection. Therefore, in the present study, a stability analysis was carried out by determining calcium and phosphate in samples stored under different conditions.

TABLE I
Salivary Calcium and Phosphate studies in different conditions and time storages. NA: Non-available

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Saliva Collection and Preparation

The protocol was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 146/2011) and all patients have signed an informed consent form. About 10 mL of unstimulated whole saliva was collected between 8 AM and 10 AM from 7 young healthy people by expectoration in the absence of chewing movements and placed into a sterile container. The samples were immediately centrifuged for 5 minutes at 282 g at 25 °C. After centrifugation, the saliva supernatant was separated into aliquots placed in microtubes, stored and analyzed under three different conditions as shown in Table II. In order to evaluate storage stability, all samples were evaluated with predefined times and storage methods.

TABLE II
Aliquots´ analysis time and storage method

Afterwards, aliquots of each sample were kept at 4 oC for 7 days and another was kept at -20 oC during 50 days. In 24, 48 and 72 hours, the frozen aliquots were submitted to 1, 2 and 3 thaw/refreezing cycles respectively, in order to determine their influence on stability.

Sample Analysis

Both total calcium and phosphate were determined by a Cintra 6 UV-Visible spectrophotometer (GBC, Australia) using commercial kits*. Calcium concentration was measured by Arsenazo III reaction at 600 nm and phosphate by an acid-molybdate method at 650nm, according to the manufacturer's instructions, always in triplicate. In every analysis, one standard sample (Wiener Lab, Argentina) was used to ensure method accuracy. All readings were taken once by a single technician. Method precision was demonstrated by Relative Standard Deviation (RSD) values obtained within 10 for determinations of phosphates and calcium, respectively For calcium determination in frozen samples, there were variations above 20% for RSD; in these cases, a new duplicate was analyzed to obtain at least a triplicate with 10% for RSD. Statistical analyses were performed with the aid of the software Stata, ver. 11.2 ((c)StataCorp) and Microsoft Excel, Ver. 9.0 ((c) Microsoft Office Professional; Microsoft Corp.). Data were expressed in concentration means (mg.dL-1) and Lin's Concordance correlation coefficients.

RESULTS

Salivary calcium and phosphate concentration in each sample were measured by calculating the mean of triplicate analysis. The levels of calcium and phosphates obtained under different storage conditions and at different times are shown in Tables III and IV.

TABLE III
Salivary calcium concentration (mg.dL-1) by sample and storage methods
TABLE IV
Salivary phosphate concentration (mg.dL-1 ) by sample and storage methods

Stability was evaluated by comparing the results found under different storage conditions and at different times with the value at t=0, by determining Lin's concordance correlation coefficient, as shown in Table V and Figure 1.

TABLE V
Lin's concordance correlation with T0 coefficient for all storage methods analyzed

FIGURE 1
Lin's concordance correlation coefficient of Calcium and Phosphate in saliva sample at refrigeration (R1, R3, and R7), thaw/refreezing cycles (C1, C2, and C3) and 50 days´ freezing (F50), compared to T0.

DISCUSSION

In this assay, all concentrations were compatible with results found in other research studies where calcium (Kavanagh, Svehla, 1998KAVANAGH, D.A.; SVEHLA, G. Variation of salivary calcium, phosphate and buffering capacity in adolescents. Arch. Oral Biol. v.43, n.12, p.1023-1027, 1998. ; Rode et al., 2001RODE, M.; SMID, L.; BUDIHNA, M.; GASSPERSSIC, D.; RODE, M.; SOBA, E. The influence of pilocarpine and biperiden on pH value and calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate concentrations in saliva during and after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. Endod. v.92, n.5, p.509-514, 2001. ; Kiss et al., 2010KISS, E.; SEWON, L.; GORZÓ, I.; NAGY, K. Salivary calcium concentration in relation to periodontal health of female tobacco smokers: a pilot study. Quintessence Int. v.41, n.9, p.779-785, 2010. ; Singh et al., 2012SINGH, R.; PALLAGATTI, S.; SHEIKH, S.; SINGH, B.; ARORA, G.; AGGARWAL, A. Correlation of serum oestrogen with salivary calcium in post-menopausal women with and without oral dryness feeling. Gerodontology v.29, n.2, p.125-129, 2012. ) and phosphate (Kavanagh, Svehla, 1998KAVANAGH, D.A.; SVEHLA, G. Variation of salivary calcium, phosphate and buffering capacity in adolescents. Arch. Oral Biol. v.43, n.12, p.1023-1027, 1998. ; Rode et al., 2001RODE, M.; SMID, L.; BUDIHNA, M.; GASSPERSSIC, D.; RODE, M.; SOBA, E. The influence of pilocarpine and biperiden on pH value and calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate concentrations in saliva during and after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. Endod. v.92, n.5, p.509-514, 2001. ) were analyzed in control groups. Therefore, the commercial kits in use were able to detect these salivary elements, although the manufacturer's indications were only for serum and urine. Calcium-arsenazo III methodology uses a monoreagent liquid where saliva samples are added and immediately read by the spectrophotometer, thus making it an easy and fast detection system, while the phosphate/molybdenum blue multiple step method takes about half-hour to complete the reaction and reading. However, in calcium-arsenazo III, a higher coefficient of variation was found when analyzing the same sample in triplicate, which means this system is more likely to have variations in time, temperature, and homogeneity. In the present research, RSD was considered acceptable at 10% for triplicates. However, for calcium determination in frozen samples, there were variations above 20% for RSD for triplicates; in these cases, a new duplicate was analyzed to obtain at least a triplicate with 10% for RSD. Therefore, frozen samples may be used to determine calcium concentration, and a greater number of replicates may be required to find a result with acceptable accuracy.

Centrifugation was carried out before storage and analysis in order to remove any cellular debris and turbidity that could interfere with spectrophotometric determination. Even with this procedure, in some cases there was a precipitate formed after thawing frozen samples, not broken after rigorous homogenization with vortex before each pipetting. According to Schipper, Silletti and Vingerhoeds (2007SCHIPPER, R.G.; SILLETTI, E.; VINGERHOEDS, M.H. Saliva as research material: biochemical, physicochemical and practical aspects. Arch. Oral Biol. v.52, n.12, p.1114-1135, 2007. ), calcium could be part of this precipitate and this could be responsible for the major variability between calcium determination of the same sample in different storage methods, as seen in samples A1 (at T5 and T9), A2 (at T7), A3 (at T2 and T6) and A7 (at T7).

For phosphate determination, the RSD values were lower, within 10%, suggesting less analytical variability. It seems that these elements are distributed more uniformly in the sample even under different storage conditions. One can still say that the method used for phosphate determination is more robust than the method for calcium determination.

The determination of trace elements immediately after collection of the sample is difficult to occur in practice. Thus, samples have to be stored until analysis. In this study, three different conditions (refrigeration, thaw/refreezing cycles and freezing) were evaluated for both elements. When determining Lin's concordance correlation coefficient (k) for each storage method, compared to T0, there was good agreement (when 0.61<k<0.8) in the second thaw/refreezing cycle when analyzing phosphate, and very good agreement (k>0.8) for the other cycles, including the third one and all cycles for calcium determination. The difference found in the second cycle should be most likely due to the method of analysis than to storage condition per se.

For the refrigerated samples, there was greater variability for k values, hence it is not the best storage method, but both calcium and phosphate levels can be considered stable when the samples are stored at 4 oC for 7 days. Frozen samples, especially those analyzed at 50 days, showed very good agreement with T0 and the higher k values for both elements. Although some authors (Schipper et al., 2007SCHIPPER, R.G.; SILLETTI, E.; VINGERHOEDS, M.H. Saliva as research material: biochemical, physicochemical and practical aspects. Arch. Oral Biol. v.52, n.12, p.1114-1135, 2007. ) recommended analysis immediately after collection, Czégény et al. (2001CZÉGÉNY, Z.S.; CHICARRO, J.L.; FERNÁNDEZ, P.; GUTIÉRREZ, A.; CÁMARA, C. Homogeneity and stability studies on sodium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese in human saliva. Bio. Trace Elem. Res., v.79, n.2, p.131-137, 2001.) evaluated calcium stability in saliva and concluded that this element has good stability when refrigerated and frozen for 20 days.

CONCLUSION

Our results revealed that under different conditions, calcium and phosphate levels are stable in saliva samples for different periods. If saliva samples are required to be stored after centrifugation, as described in this study, the storage condition of choice to determine calcium and phosphates levels is -20oC up to 50 days.

REFERENCES

  • AGHA-HOSSEINI, F.; MIRZAII-DIZGAH, I.; MOOSAVI, M. Relationship of serum and saliva calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase with dry mouth feeling in menopause. Gerodontology, v.29, p.e1092-e1097, 2012.
  • CORNEJO, L. S.; BRUNOTTO, M.; HILAS, E. Salivary factors associated to the prevalence and increase of dental caries in rural schoolchildren. Rev. Saúde Publ. v.42, n.1, p.19-25, 2008.
  • CZÉGÉNY, Z.S.; CHICARRO, J.L.; FERNÁNDEZ, P.; GUTIÉRREZ, A.; CÁMARA, C. Homogeneity and stability studies on sodium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese in human saliva. Bio. Trace Elem. Res, v.79, n.2, p.131-137, 2001.
  • DE ALMEIDA PDEL, V.; GRÉGIO, A.M.; MACHADO, M.A.; DE LIMA, A.A.; AZEVEDO, L.R. Saliva composition and functions: a comprehensive review. J. Contemp. Dent. Pract., v.9, n.3, p.72-80, 2008.
  • EMEKLI-ALTURFAN, E.; YARAT, A.; ÇALISKAN-AK, E.; PISIRICILER, R.; JURU, B.; NOYAN, U. Determination of storage time of saliva samples obtained from patients with and without chronic periodontitis for the comparison of some biochemical and cytological parameters. J. Clin. Lab. Anal., v.27, n.4, p.261-266, 2013.
  • FIYAZ, M.; RAMESH, A.; RAMALINGAM, K.; THOMAS, B.; SHETTY, S.; PRAKASH, P. Association of salivary calcium, phosphate, pH and flow rate on oral health: A study on 90 subjects. J. Indian. Soc. Periodontol., v.17, n.4, p.454-460, 2013.
  • HEGDE, M.N.; TAHILIANI, D.; SHETTY, S.; DEVADIGA, D. Salivary alkaline phosphatase and calcium in caries-active type II diabetes mellitus patients: an in vivo study. Contemp. Clin. Dent. v.5, n.4, p.440-444, 2014.
  • HERR, A.E.; HATCH, A.V.; THROCKMORTON, D.J.; TRAN, H.M.; BRENNAN, J. S.; GIANNOBILE, W.V.; SINGH, A.K. Microfluidic immunoassays as rapid saliva-based clinical diagnostics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. v.104, n.13, p.5268-5273, 2007.
  • HUMPHREY, S.P.; WILLIAMSON, R.T. A review of saliva: normal composition, flow, and function. J. Prosthet. Dent. v.85, n.2, p.162-169, 2001.
  • JAGER, D.H.J.; VIEIRA, A.M.; LIGTENBERG, A.J.M.; BRONKHORST, E.; HUYSMANS, M.C.D.N.J.M.; VISSINK, A. Effect of salivary factors on the susceptibility of hydroxyapatite to early erosion. Caries Res., v. 45, p. 532-537, 2011.
  • KAUR, A.; KWATRA, K.S.; KAMBOJ, P. Evaluation of non-microbial salivary caries activity parameters and salivary biochemical indicators in predicting dental caries. J. Indian. Soc. Pedod. Prev. Dent. v.30, n.3, p.212-217, 2012.
  • KAVANAGH, D.A.; SVEHLA, G. Variation of salivary calcium, phosphate and buffering capacity in adolescents. Arch. Oral Biol. v.43, n.12, p.1023-1027, 1998.
  • KISS, E.; SEWON, L.; GORZÓ, I.; NAGY, K. Salivary calcium concentration in relation to periodontal health of female tobacco smokers: a pilot study. Quintessence Int. v.41, n.9, p.779-785, 2010.
  • KOLTE, A.P.; KOLTE, R.A.; LADDHA, R.K. Effect of smoking on salivary composition and periodontal status. Indian Soc. Pedod. Prev. Dent., v.16, n.3, p.350-353, 2012.
  • LUSSI, A.; JAEGGI, T. Erosion-diagnosis and risk factors. Clin. Oral Investig. v.12 Suppl. 1, p.S5-S13, 2008.
  • NEWKIRK, K.A.; RINGEL, M.D.; WARTOFSKY, L. BURMAN, K.D. The role of radioactive iodine in salivary gland dysfunction. Ear Nose Throat J. v. 79, n. 6, p. 460-468, 2000.
  • PRASANTHI, B.; KANNAN, N.; PATIL, R. Effect of diuretics on salivary flow, composition and oral health status: a clinico-biochemical study. Ann. Med. Health Sci. Res. v.4, n.4, p.549-553, 2014.
  • PREETHI, B. P.; RESHMA, D.; ANAND, P. Evaluation of flow rate, pH, buffering capacity, calcium, total proteins and total antioxidant capacity levels of saliva in caries free and caries active children: an in vivo study. Indian J. Clin. Biochem.v.25, n.4, p.425-428, 2010.
  • RODE, M.; SMID, L.; BUDIHNA, M.; GASSPERSSIC, D.; RODE, M.; SOBA, E. The influence of pilocarpine and biperiden on pH value and calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate concentrations in saliva during and after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Oral Surg. Oral Med. Oral Pathol. Oral Radiol. Endod. v.92, n.5, p.509-514, 2001.
  • SANTHOSH, B. P.; JETHMALANI, P.; SHASHIBHUSHAN, K. K.; SUBBA, R. V. V. Effect of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate containing chewing gum on salivary concentration of calcium and phosphorus: an in-vivo study. J. Indian Soc. Pedod. Prev. Dent. , v. 30, n.2, p.146-150, 2012.
  • SAVICA, V.; CALÒ, L.; SANTORO, D.; MONARDO, P.; GRANATA, A.; BELLINGHIERI, G. Salivary phosphate secretion in chronic kidney disease. J. Ren. Nutr., v. 18, n.1, p. 87-90, 2008.
  • SCHIPPER, R.G.; SILLETTI, E.; VINGERHOEDS, M.H. Saliva as research material: biochemical, physicochemical and practical aspects. Arch. Oral Biol. v.52, n.12, p.1114-1135, 2007.
  • SINGH, R.; PALLAGATTI, S.; SHEIKH, S.; SINGH, B.; ARORA, G.; AGGARWAL, A. Correlation of serum oestrogen with salivary calcium in post-menopausal women with and without oral dryness feeling. Gerodontology v.29, n.2, p.125-129, 2012.
  • WANG, P.; ZHOU, Y.; ZHU, Y. H.; LIN, H. C. Unstimulated and stimulated salivary characteristics of 12-13-year-old schoolchildren with and without dental erosion. Arch. Oral Biol. , v56, p.1328-1332, 2011.
  • WU, K.P.; KE, J.Y.; CHUNG, C.Y.; CHEN, C.L.; HWANG, T.L.; CHOU, M.Y.; WONG, A.M.; HU, C.F.; LEE, Y.C. Relationship between unstimulated salivary flow rate and saliva composition of healthy children in Taiwan. Chang Gung. Med. J., v. 31, n.3, p.281-186, 2008.
  • ZHANG, A.; SUN, H.; WANG, P.; HAN, Y.; WANG, X. Recent and potential developments of biofluid analyses in metabolomics. J. Proteomics v.75, n.4, p.1079-1088, 2012.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Dec 2016

History

  • Received
    30 June 2015
  • Accepted
    06 Oct 2016
Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, n. 580, 05508-000 S. Paulo/SP Brasil, Tel.: (55 11) 3091-3824 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjps@usp.br