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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 539627, 9 pages
Research Article

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Is Associated with Changes in Salivary Inflammatory Genes Transcripts

1Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
2Department of Biological Sciences, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 400 W. 11th Street, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
3Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
4Critical Care, Pulmonary and Sleep Associates, 274 Union Boulevard, Suite 110, Lakewood, CO 80228, USA

Received 22 September 2014; Revised 19 January 2015; Accepted 28 January 2015

Academic Editor: Jean Louis Pepin

Copyright © 2015 Matthew S. Thimgan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is a ubiquitous problem that affects public health and safety. A test that can reliably identify individuals that suffer from EDS is needed. In contrast to other methods, salivary biomarkers are an objective, inexpensive, and noninvasive method to identify individuals with inadequate sleep. Although we have previously shown that inflammatory genes are elevated in saliva samples taken from sleep deprived individuals, it is unclear if inflammatory genes will be elevated in clinical populations with EDS. In this study, salivary samples from individuals with sleep apnea were evaluated using the Taqman low density inflammation array. Transcript levels for 3 genes, including prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), were elevated in patients with sleep apnea. Interestingly, PTGS2 was also elevated in patients with EDS but who did not have sleep apnea. These data demonstrate the feasibility of using salivary transcript levels to identify individuals that self-report excessive daytime sleepiness.