Elevated levels of human salivary epidermal growth factor after oral and juxtaoral surgery

Gregory E. Oxford, Roland Jonsson, Jan Olofsson, Tivadar Zelles, Michael G. Humphreys-Beher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Saliva provides a natural reservoir of growth factors whose purposes have remained elusive. Animal studies suggest that saliva-derived growth factors play a role in systemic and oral wound healing. In the current study, salivary concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF) were monitored in patients before and after oral and juxtaoral surgery. Patients and Methods: Whole resting saliva was collected from a group of patients with parotid gland tumors requiring surgical resection. Another group of patients a history of periodontal disease requiring surgical intervention also provided whole salivary samples. Healthy age- and sex-matched persons served as controls. Results: Salivary EGF levels were elevated in both groups of patients within 24 hours after surgery. In the periodontitis patients, a second smaller peak was assayed noted between 36 and 48 hours. After this, EGF concentrations returned to levels comparable to healthy controls in both experimental groups. Conclusions: Although the local cells have the ability to synthesize and secrete growth factors at a site of injury, these results suggest that surgery stimulates increased synthesis and secretion of growth factors in the saliva as well. This increased level of saliva-derived growth factor may also aid in promoting wound healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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