© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) is considered a biomarker of sympathetic activation in humans, but there is controversy regarding the existence of sAA in dogs. The hypothesis of this study was that sAA exists in dogs and it could change in situations of sympathetic stimulation. Therefore, the aims of this study were: 1) to demonstrate the presence of alpha-amylase in saliva of dogs by Western-Blot, 2) to validate an spectrophotometric method for the measurement of sAA activity and 3) to evaluate the possible changes in sAA activity after the induction of an ejaculation in dogs which is known to produce a sympathetic activation. Results: Western-Blot demonstrated a band in dog saliva specimens between 60kDa and 50kDa, similar to purified sAA. The spectrophotometric assay validated showed an adequate inter- and intra-assay precision, and a high correlation coefficient (r=0.999) in the linearity under dilution study. sAA median activity significantly increased just after ejaculation compared with just before the ejaculation (2.06-fold, P=0.005). Conclusions: This study demonstrated the existence of alpha-amylase in saliva of dogs and that this enzyme can be measured by a spectrophotometric assay. In addition, results showed that sAA increase after a sympathetic activation and could be potentially used as non-invasive biomarker of sympathetic activity in this species.
- Salivary alpha-amylase
- Sympathetic activation