Etiological relationships of parotid saliva cyclic nucleotides in patients with taste and smell dysfunction

Arch Oral Biol. 2012 Jun;57(6):670-7. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Feb 4.


Objective: We previously demonstrated that parotid saliva cAMP and cGMP were lower in patients with taste and smell dysfunction than in normal subjects. We subsequently demonstrated parotid saliva cAMP and cGMP were inversely correlated with smell loss degree such that as smell loss severity increased parotid saliva cAMP and cGMP decreased proportionately. To learn more about these relationships we studied parotid saliva cAMP and cGMP with respect to aetiology of sensory loss in these patients.

Design: Parotid saliva cAMP and cGMP in patients with smell loss (hyposmia) who participated in an open label fixed design controlled clinical trial with treatment with oral theophylline were evaluated with respect to their initial etiological diagnosis. Levels of cyclic nucleotides in each etiological category were compared to each other, to the entire patient group and to normal subjects.

Results: Mean cAMP and cGMP in all patients combined were below those in normals, as previously described. However, categorized by aetiology, there was a stratification of levels of both cyclic nucleotides; some levels were below the normal mean and some were at or above the normal mean.

Conclusions: Parotid saliva cyclic nucleotides characterised in hyposmic patients by aetiology indicate (1) there are differential alterations in these nucleotides related to aetiology of sensory dysfunction and (2) these moieties measured prior to treatment indicate which patient groups may benefit from treatment with phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors which increase levels of these moieties and thereby correct their sensory dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfaction Disorders / diagnosis
  • Olfaction Disorders / etiology
  • Olfaction Disorders / metabolism*
  • Parotid Gland / metabolism*
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Taste Disorders / diagnosis
  • Taste Disorders / etiology
  • Taste Disorders / metabolism*


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP