Updates and Original Case Studies Focused on the NMR-Linked Metabolomics Analysis of Human Oral Fluids Part III: Implementations for the Diagnosis of Non-Cancerous Disorders, Both Oral and Systemic




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This communication represents Part III of our series of reports based on the applications of human saliva as a useful and conveniently collectable medium for the discovery, identification and monitoring of biomarkers, which are of some merit for the diagnosis of human diseases. Such biomarkers, or others reflecting the dysfunction of specific disease-associated metabolic pathways, may also be employed for the prognostic pathological tracking of these diseases. Part I of this series set the experimental and logistical groundwork for this report, and the preceding paper, Part II, featured the applications of newly developed metabolomics technologies to the diagnosis and severity grading of human cancer conditions, both oral and systemic. Clearly, there are many benefits, both scientific and economic, associated with the donation of human saliva samples (usually as whole mouth saliva) from humans consenting to and participating in investigations focused on the discovery of biomolecular markers of diseases. These include usually non-invasive collection protocols, relatively low cost when compared against blood sample collection, and no requirement for clinical supervision during collection episodes. This paper is centred on the employment and value of ‘state-of-the-art’ metabolomics technologies to the diagnosis and prognosis of a wide range of non-cancerous human diseases. Firstly, these include common oral diseases such as periodontal diseases (from type 1 (gingivitis) to type 4 (advanced periodontitis)), and dental caries. Secondly, a wide range of extra-oral (systemic) conditions are covered, most notably diabetes types 1 and 2, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, and Sjögren’s syndrome, along with a series of viral infections, e.g., pharyngitis, influenza, HIV and COVID-19. Since the authors’ major research interests lie in the area of the principles and applications of NMR-linked metabolomics techniques, many, but not all, of the studies reviewed were conducted using these technologies, with special attention being given to recommended protocols for their operation and management, for example, satisfactory experimental model designs; sample collection and laboratory processing techniques; the selection of sample-specific NMR pulse sequences for saliva analysis; and strategies available for the confirmation of resonance assignments for both endogenous and exogenous molecules in this biofluid. This article also features an original case study, which is focussed on the use of NMR-based salivary metabolomics techniques to provide some key biomarkers for the diagnosis of pharyngitis, and an example of how to ‘police’ such studies and to recognise participants who perceive that they actually have this disorder but do not from their metabolic profiles and multivariate analysis pattern-based clusterings. The biochemical and clinical significance of these multidimensional metabolomics investigations are discussed in detail.



saliva; metabolomics; 1H NMR analysis; NMR-based metabolomics; oral diseases; periodontal diseases; dental caries; systemic diseases; acute sore throat conditions (pharyngitis); diagnosis; prognostic monitoring; chemical pathology


Grootveld, M.; Page, G.; Bhogadia, M.; Hunwin, K.; Edgar, M. (2023) Updates and Original Case Studies Focused on the NMR-Linked Metabolomics Analysis of Human Oral Fluids Part III: Implementations for the Diagnosis of Non-Cancerous Disorders, Both Oral and Systemic. Metabolites, 13, 66


Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)