Objectives: To examine an immunoassay for measuring free IGF-I in a saliva specimen (free sIGF-I) and to study the levels in relation to the training conditions comparing young athletes and sedentary females.
Design and methods: The analysis was carried out by modifying a commercial kit for plasma matrix to measure the free sIGF-I. The plasma free and total IGF-I fractions, hGH and salivary total proteins were also measured. Saliva and blood specimens were collected from 15 well-trained young female volleyball athletes and from a control group of 14 young sedentary females.
Results: The calibration curve to assay free sIGF-I covered the range 0.05-5.00 microg/L. The detection limit was 0.07 microg/L. The within-run and between-run imprecision CVs were 10% and 13% respectively. The average recovery was 88%. Free sIGF-I, measured in 15 athletes and in 14 young sedentary females, was 0.10+/-0.03 and 0.20+/-0.05 micarog/L respectively (p<0.001).
Conclusions: There were decreased levels of free sIGF-I in well-trained athletes, compared with sedentary females. This decrease could be related to a greater tissue requirement by the active muscle subjected to intense exercise for several days.