European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 249–256 | Cite as

Influence of the sample collection method on salivary interleukin–6 levels in resting and post-exercise conditions

  • M. A. MinettoEmail author
  • M. Gazzoni
  • F. Lanfranco
  • M. Baldi
  • L. Saba
  • R. Pedrola
  • P. V. Komi
  • A. Rainoldi
Original Article


Previous studies demonstrated that no significant relationships exist between salivary and serum IL-6 in resting conditions and following exercise and that appropriate saliva collection procedures allow to avoid analytical drawbacks. This investigation aimed to: (a) compare the effects of two methods of saliva collection on IL-6 assay; (b) search for correlation between salivary and serum IL-6 in resting and post-exercise conditions; (c) evaluate the IL-6 response to isometric contractions. Seventeen sedentary subjects and fifteen athletes underwent one blood and two salivary draws: saliva was collected chewing on cotton salivettes and using a plastic straw (SA method and ST method, respectively). Afterwards, the athletes only completed a fatiguing isometric exercise of the knee extensors and blood and saliva were sampled after the exercise. In the entire group (n = 32), ST method produced higher IL-6 levels than SA method and serum sampling. The exercise elicited significant responses of lactate, serum IL-6, salivary IL-6 (by ST method): salivary IL-6 values using the ST collection method were higher at each sampling point than with the SA method. The correlation analyses applied to both resting levels in the entire group and absolute changes above baseline in the athlete group showed that: (1) no significant relationships exist between serum and salivary IL-6 levels; (2) the greater the salivary IL-6 measurement, the higher the resultant inaccuracy of the SA method; (3) significant correlations exist between isometric force and mechanical fatigue during exercise and peaks of lactate and serum IL-6. These data provided demonstration of a cotton-interference effect for the results of salivary IL-6 assay and confirmed the lack of significant correlation between salivary and serum IL-6 in resting and post-exercise conditions.


Interleukin-6 Saliva Skeletal muscle Isometric exercise 



We wish to thank Prof. E. Ghigo (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy) and Prof. R. Merletti (LISiN, Department of Electronics, Polytechnic of Turin, Turin, Italy) for their constructive criticisms in the manuscript editing and M. Gollin and P. Bertano (SUISM, University of Turin, Turin, Italy) for valuable assistance in the sample collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Minetto
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Gazzoni
    • 2
  • F. Lanfranco
    • 1
  • M. Baldi
    • 1
  • L. Saba
    • 3
  • R. Pedrola
    • 3
  • P. V. Komi
    • 4
  • A. Rainoldi
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory for Engineering of the Neuromuscular System (LISiN), Department of ElectronicsPolytechnic of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical and Biological SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  4. 4.Neuromuscular Research Center, Department of Biology of Physical ActivityUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  5. 5.Motor Science Research Center, SUISMUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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