Ursolic acid inhibits multi-species biofilms developed by Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis, and Streptococcus gordonii.
Arch Oral Biol. 2021 Mar 15 ;125:105107. Epub 2021 Mar 15. PMID: 33735629
OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed to assess the antimicrobial activity of ursolic acid (UA) against multi-species biofilms formed by Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis, and Streptococcus gordonii, as well as to measure its biocompatibility.
METHODS: Crystal violet staining, CFU counting, CCK-8 assays and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were applied to investigate the effect of UA on multi-species biofilms. UA's effect on exopolysaccharides (EPS) production was measured using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and the anthrone-sulfuric acid method. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was applied to visualize and quantify the microbial composition of multi-species biofilms. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to measure the expression of virulence genes of S. mutans, S. sanguinis, and S. gordonii under UA treatment. Moreover, CCK-8 assays were performed to evaluate its cytotoxicity against human oral keratinocytes (HOKs) and human gingival epithelial cells (HGEs).
RESULTS: The results showed that UA had significant antimicrobial activity against common oral streptococci. UA also reduced the EPS synthesis of oral streptococci and suppressed gtf genes' expression. In addition, UA reduced the proportion of S. mutans in multi-species biofilms. Besides, UA had low cytotoxicity against HOKs and HGEs.
CONCLUSIONS: UA exhibited antibiofilm activity against oral pathogenic bacteria and had the potential to be used in dental caries treatment.