Secretory IgA, free secretory component and IgD in saliva of newborn infants
To determine levels of secretory IgA (sIgA), free secretory component (FSC) and IgD in saliva of newborn infants at the age of 1 day and to evaluate the detection patterns, the influence of saliva flow and the relation to serum derived proteins. Seventy-three healthy newborn infants were studied. Saliva was obtained from the bottom of the mouth and buccal sulci using a sterile polyethylene tube connected to a syringe. SIgA, FSC, IgD and albumin were measured by radial immunodiffusion. SIgA was detected in 74.0% of all saliva samples, whereas detection rates for FSC and IgD were 94.5% and 75.3%, respectively. Investigation of detection patterns and their relation to saliva flow indicated that secretion of sIgA and FSC into the oral cavity is under similar regulation. Levels of IgD were found to be independent from saliva flow, as well as from concentrations of serum-derived proteins suggesting different regulative mechanisms compared to sIgA and FSC. The flow rate of unstimulated whole saliva in newborn infants was found to be 15 times lower compared to adolescents, emphasizing the role of saliva flow as a limiting factor for secretion of sIgA and FSC. SIgA, FSC and IgD can be determined in saliva of newborn infants even in the first day of life. The saliva flow rate has to be considered when evaluating the function and biological relevance of the oral mucosal immune system of newborn infants shortly after birth.