Neopterin (NP), biopterin (BP) and monapterin (MP) exist in saliva. The physiological role of salivary NP as well as the pathophysiological role of increased NP in the immune-activated state has been unclear. Saliva is a characteristic specimen different from other body fluids. In this study, we analysed salivary NP and related pterin compounds, BP and MP and revealed some of its feature. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of saliva and plasma obtained from 26 volunteers revealed that salivary NP existed mostly in its fully oxidized form. The results suggested that salivary NP as well as BP would mostly originate from the oral cavity, perhaps the salivary glands, and that salivary NP levels might not reflect those in the plasma. We also found that a gender difference existed in correlations between concentrations of salivary total concentrations of NP (tNP) and BP (tBP). HPLC analysis of saliva obtained from 5 volunteers revealed that the concentrations of salivary tNP as well as tBP fluctuated in an irregular fashion in various individuals. MP, a diastereomer of NP, might have come from oral cavity NP itself or its precursor. These results indicated that the nature of salivary NP might be different from that of NP in the blood or urine.
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