- Effect of arginine on the growth and biofilm formation of oral bacteria
- Archives of Oral Biology
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Background Alkali production via arginine deiminase system (ADS) of oral bacteria plays a significant role in oral ecology, pH homeostasis and inhibition of dental caries. ADS activity in dental plaque varies greatly between individuals, which may profoundly affect their susceptibility to caries. Objective To investigate the effect of arginine on the growth and biofilm formation of oral bacteria. Methods and results Polymicrobial dental biofilms derived from saliva were formed in a high-throughput active attachment biofilm model and L-arginine (Arg) was shown to reduce the colony forming units (CFU) counts of such biofilms grown for various periods or biofilms derived from saliva of subjects with different caries status. Arg hardly disturbed bacterial growth of Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus gordonii in BHI medium, but only inhibited biofilm formation of S. mutans. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) showed S. mutans biofilms harboured fewer cells grown with Arg than that without Arg, even in the initial 2 h and 8 h phase. Confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) images of poly-microbial dental and S. mutans biofilms revealed the biofilms grown with Arg had lower exopolysaccharide (EPS)/bacteria ratios than those without Arg (P = 0.004, 0.002, respectively). Arg could significantly reduce the production of water-insoluble EPS in S. mutans biofilms (P < 0.001); however, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) did not show significantly influence in gene expression of gtfB, gtfC or gtfD (P = 0.32, 0.06, 0.44 respectively). Conclusions Arg could reduce the biomass of poly-microbial dental biofilms and S. mutans biofilms, which may be due to the impact of Arg on water-insoluble EPS. Considering the contribution to pH homeostasis in dental biofilms, Arg may serve as an important agent keeping oral biofilms healthy thus prevent dental caries.
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