Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(12):2666-2672. doi:10.7150/ijms.57221 This issue

Research Paper

Effect of exopolysaccharides from cariogenic bacteria on human gingival fibroblasts

Anna K. Szkaradkiewicz-Karpińska1, Andrzej Szkaradkiewicz2✉

1. Department of Preclinical Conservative Dentistry and Preclinical Endodontics, University of Medical Sciences, 60-812 Poznań, Poland.
2. Institute of Health and Physical Culture, State Higher Vocational School, 64-100 Leszno, Poland.

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Szkaradkiewicz-Karpińska AK, Szkaradkiewicz A. Effect of exopolysaccharides from cariogenic bacteria on human gingival fibroblasts. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(12):2666-2672. doi:10.7150/ijms.57221. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Bacterial biofilm (dental plaque) plays a key role in caries etiopathogenesis and chronic periodontitis in humans. Dental plaque formation is determined by exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by cariogenic and periopathogenic bacteria. The most frequent cariogenic bacteria include oral streptococci (in particular S. mutans) and lactobacilli (most frequently L. acidophilus). In turn, the dominant periopathogen in periodontitis is Porphyromonas gingivalis. Development of dental caries is often accompanied with gingivitis constituting the mildest form of periodontal disease. Basic cellular components of the gingiva tissue are fibroblasts the damage of which determines the progression of chronic periodontitis. Due to insufficient knowledge of the direct effect of dental plaque on metabolic activity of the fibroblasts, this work analyses the effect of EPSs produced by S. mutans and L. acidophilus strains (H2O2-producing and H2O2-not producing) on ATP levels in human gingival fibroblasts (HGF-1) and their viability. EPSs produced in 48-hours bacterial cultures were isolated by precipitation method and quantitatively determined by phenol - sulphuric acid assay. ATP levels in HGF-1 were evaluated using a luminescence test, and cell viability was estimated using fluorescence test. The tests have proven that EPS from S. mutans did not affect the levels of ATP in HGF-1. Whereas EPS derived from L. acidophilus strains, irrespective of the tested strain, significantly increased ATP levels in HGF-1. The analysed EPSs did not affect the viability of cells. The tests presented in this work show that EPSs from cariogenic bacteria have no cytotoxic effect on HGF-1. At the same time, the results provide new data indicating that EPSs from selected oral lactobacilli may have stimulating effect on the synthesis of ATP in gingival fibroblasts which increases their energetic potential and takes a protective effect.

Keywords: dental caries, Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, exopolysaccharides, ATP, gingivitis