Analytical Strategies in Lipidomics for Discovery of Functional Biomarkers from Human Saliva Academic Article uri icon


  • Human saliva is increasingly being used and validated as a biofluid for diagnosing, monitoring systemic disease status, and predicting disease progression. The discovery of biomarkers in saliva biofluid offers unique opportunities to bypass the invasive procedure of blood sampling by using oral fluids to evaluate the health condition of a patient. Saliva biofluid is clinically relevant since its components can be found in plasma. As salivary lipids are among the most essential cellular components of human saliva, there is great potential for their use as biomarkers. Lipid composition in cells and tissues change in response to physiological changes and normal tissues have a different lipid composition than tissues affected by diseases. Lipid imbalance is closely associated with a number of human lifestyle-related diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, systemic cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. Thus, identification of lipidomic biomarkers or key lipids in different diseases can be used to diagnose diseases and disease state and evaluate response to treatments. However, further research is needed to determine if saliva can be used as a surrogate to serum lipid profiles, given that highly sensitive methods with low limits of detection are needed to discover salivary biomarkers in order to develop reliable diagnostic and disease monitoring salivary tests. Lipidomic methods have greatly advanced in recent years with a constant advance in mass spectrometry (MS) and development of MS detectors with high accuracy and high resolution that are able to determine the elemental composition of many lipids.

publication date

  • 2019