Stress/Immune Biomarkers in Saliva among Children with ADHD Status

Anna Krahel, Elzbieta Paszynska, Agnieszka Slopien, Maria Gawriolek, Justyna Otulakowska-Skrzynska, Szymon Rzatowski, Amadeusz Hernik, Tomasz Hanć, Ewa Bryl, Paula Szczesniewska, Karolina Bilska, Joanna Duda, Marta Tyszkiewicz-Nwafor, Monika Dmitrzak-Weglarz
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2021 January 18, 18 (2)
Background . This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate stress and immune biomarkers in saliva samples of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD compared to healthy non-ADHD children. Material and methods . A total of 132 children under 11 years old (8.5 ± 1.1) enrolled in a cross-sectional study: with confirmed ADHD (n = 60) and healthy controls (n = 72). The clinical evaluation included physical measurements (height, waist, hip circumference, body weight, body mass index BMI, BMI z-score) and unstimulated saliva collection and measurements of free cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), and secreted immunoglobulins (sIgA, IgG, and IgM) with quantitative assay (ELISA) analysis. Unpaired t -test, Welch test, or Mann-Whitney U test were applied for group comparisons when appropriate, and the correlation between variables was analyzed with Spearman's rank coefficient. Results were considered significant at p < 0.05. Results . In the ADHD group, body weight ( p ≤ 0.01), BMI ( p ≤ 0.009), and hip circumference ( p ≤ 0.001) significantly differed, while waist size and BMI z-score did not ( p > 0.05). Significant elevation of the salivary sAA ( p = 0.03), sIgA ( p = 0.02), and IgM ( p ≤ 0.001) biomarkers were detected, without differences in the morning cortisol ( p > 0.05). Significant correlations between cortisol and BMI, hip size, and IgA, as well as between IgG and sAA and IgA were obtained. Conclusions. Saliva can be used to monitor ADHD status with regard to biomarkers indicating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, as HPA axis, and sympathetic activity. The results indicate that morning collection of saliva in contrast to unchanged salivary cortisol, may evaluate mentioned above system dysregulations by measurements of sAA and immunoglobulins among ADHD children.

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