Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by dry mouth and dry eyes, with lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands. Saliva is becoming a useful tool to determine the clinical and pathological characteristics of SS because the collection method is easy and non-invasive. Since 1900, salivary proteomic analysis has been performed continuously using a variety of optimized analytical methods. Many studies have identified distinct characteristics of salivary proteins in patients with primary SS, and the changes were related to chronic inflammation and overproduction of immunoglobulins or downregulated secretory function. Several proteomic studies using whole or parotid saliva have evaluated whether several salivary proteins can be used to discriminate SS, including salivary β2-microglobulin, calprotectin, carbonic anhydrase VI, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-5, and tripartite motif-containing protein 29. In addition, salivary proinflammatory cytokine levels have been reported to be increased in patients with SS. Although these candidate salivary proteins have exhibited considerable differences in patients with SS, more data are needed to confirm their role as biomarkers. Moreover, the identification of salivary characteristics that can accurately reflect disease activity, predict treatment response and prognosis, and diagnose SS is anticipated.
Keywords: Sjögren’s syndrome; biomarker; protein; saliva.