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Keywords:

  • α-defensins 1–4;
  • cystatin A;
  • gingival crevicular fluid;
  • PB peptide;
  • statherin

The acidic-soluble protein content of human gingival crevicular fluid was analyzed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), and the eluent deriving from the chromatography separation was directly introduced into an ion-trap mass spectrometer through electrospray ionization (ESI-IT MS). By this technique the molecular weight of peptides/proteins was determined with a precision of ≈ 1/10,000 amu. On the basis of the chromatographic behavior and the knowledge of the molecular mass value, some peptides and proteins soluble in acidic solution were unambiguously recognized. Besides high quantities of human serum albumin, α-defensins 1–4 and minor amounts of cystatin A, statherin, basic PB salivary peptide and other unidentified components were detected. The presence of α-defensins in gingival crevicular fluid is in agreement with their relevant contribution to protein composition deriving from granulocyte secretions. Other peptides and proteins abundant in human saliva, such as proline-rich proteins (PRPs) and histatins, were not detected in gingival crevicular fluid. Further investigations will be necessary to establish the origin of statherin and PB salivary peptide in gingival crevicular fluid.