An evaluation of the expression profiles of salivary proteins lactoferrin and lysozyme and their association with caries experience and activity
AbstractPurpose: Saliva contains both specific and non-specific protective factors of the immune system, such as antimicrobial proteins, which can inhibit the adhesion and viability of cariogenic microorganisms. The association between caries experience/activity and the electrophoretic profiles of salivary proteins lactoferrin and lysozyme was evaluated. Methods: Eighty 12-year-old students from public schools in Londrina, PR, Brazil, were selected and divided into two groups: Group A – with decayed teeth and Group B – with caries-free teeth. The parent/guardian of each child signed a consent form and filled out a questionnaire regarding the oral and systemic health of his/her child. A clinical examination to diagnose the presence or absence of dental caries, by means of the DMFT index, was conducted. A total of 1 mL of saliva was collected for protein analysis using a polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Results: A total of 58.8% of the children were caries-inactive; in contrast, 63.3% showed caries experience. There was a slight association between lysozyme concentrations and DMFT. Lactoferrin was positively correlated with both DMFT and restored teeth. Conclusion: The quantification of lactoferrin and lysozyme enabled an assessment of possible associations with caries status, thus improving the understanding of the biological and etiological aspects of caries.
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