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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 5, 2019

Measurement of α-dicarbonyl compounds in human saliva by pre-column derivatization HPLC

Xin-Jie Wang, Hong-Xia Zhang, Heng Li, Ai-Hua Zhu and Wen-Yun Gao



α-Dicarbonyl compounds (α-DCs) have been detected in body fluids including plasma and urine and elevation of this sort of compounds in vivo has been associated with the development of many kinds of chronic diseases. However whether α-DCs are present in human saliva, and if their presence/absence can be related with various chronic diseases is yet to be determined.


In this study, a pre-column derivatization HPLC-UV method was developed to measure 3-deoxyglucosone (3-DG), glyoxal (GO), methylglyoxal (MGO), diacetyl (DA), and pentane-2,3-dione (PD) in human saliva employing 4-(2,3-dimethyl-6-quinoxalinyl)-1,2-benzenediamine (DQB) as a derivatizing reagent. The derivatization of the α-DCs is fast and the conditions are facile. The method was evaluated and the results show that it is suitable for the quantification of α-DCs in human saliva.


In the measurements of these α-DCs in the saliva of 15 healthy subjects and 23 type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, we found that the concentrations of GO and MGO in the saliva of the diabetic patients were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects. As far as we know, this is the first time that salivary α-DC concentrations have been determined and associated with T2DM.


The developed method would be useful for the measurement of the salivary α-DC levels and the data acquired could be informative in the early screening for diabetes.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 21402152, 31770848), the Northwest University graduate independent innovation project (No. YZZ17154), and the Scientific Research Project of Shaanxi Province (No. 2017JM2027).

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2019-01-02
Accepted: 2019-06-17
Published Online: 2019-08-05
Published in Print: 2019-11-26

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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